Aid for the stricken population of Afghanistan

The government is making it possible for Dutch aid organisations to deliver aid to Afghanistan. Over 85,000 of the most vulnerable people will be given cash vouchers to buy food, water wells and tents. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen explained, ‘Single parents, the sick, children and pregnant women urgently need extra protection. This special focus means they will not have to risk abuse or resort to begging in order to survive. And at the same time we are helping to rebuild Afghanistan so that young people can have a future there.’

The situation in many parts of Afghanistan is still extremely unstable and unsafe, as tragically illustrated by the recent attacks in Kabul and Herat, which left many people dead or wounded. In addition, millions of Afghans are simply struggling to survive, often in appalling living conditions. The aid package, with a total value of €4.5 million, is being made available to the Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA), a partnership of organisations with a great deal of expertise and experience in countries like Afghanistan. The aid will build on earlier relief support to vulnerable groups in the country.

Besides emergency aid, the government is also investing in self-reliance. Recipients can spend cash vouchers as they see fit, for example to pay back rent or school fees for their children. This form of support requires people to make responsible choices and can thus enhance self-reliance. It also gives a boost to the local economy. Moreover, by making people accountable for how they spend the vouchers, donors gain insight into where the need is greatest. Another example is the ‘Cash for Work’ scheme in affected areas of the country, which pays people decent wages for short-term work. They, in turn, gain work experience and help to rebuild their country.

 

Ministry responsible