Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 12 May 2023 – Under the auspices of HE Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), an Implementation Partner (IP) agreement was signed today between the IsDB, as the Trustee of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund (AHTF), and International Medical Corps-UK, to implement a project aiming at providing improved water sanitation and hygiene services to targeted populations affected by conflicts and natural disasters in Afghanistan's Paktika Province.
The IP agreement was signed between Eng. Mohammad J. Alsaati, Special Adviser to the IsDB President and AHTF Coordinator, and Ognjen Radosavljevic, the Managing Director of International Medical Corps-UK, on the sidelines of the 2023 IsDB Group Annual Meetings in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The signing event was attended by senior representatives from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), member countries, implementing partners, and other stakeholders, as well as guests.
IsDB President HE Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser stated: "This signing ceremony is an important milestone for all of us, as we have been striving to alleviate the suffering of our Afghan brothers and sisters. I commend all those who have worked tirelessly to make this happen. I look forward to the earliest completion of this project and its positive impact on the lives of the rural communities in Afghanistan. On this occasion, I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center for their USD 10 million contributions to the AHTF”. "
The AHTF will extend a grant of USD 1,078,894 to International Medical Corps, a US-registered independent affiliate of International Medical Corps-UK, to implement the project in the eastern Afghanistan province. The AHTF grant funding comes from the contribution of KSReliefto the AHTF.
The AHTF grant aims to improve communities' health and quality of life by providing clean water in a sustainable manner and promoting hygiene practices in the beneficiary local communities. The operation will directly benefit a rural population of 14,113. The International Medical Corps will build solar-powered pumped water systems to provide access to clean water for drinking and cooking for the people in Urgon and Yusufkhel districts. It will also work toward improving the environmental health and hygiene practices of targeted populations in the two districts by conducting solid waste cleanup campaigns and promoting hygiene practices at the household and community levels.
On the IP agreement, Eng. Mohammad J. Alsaati, Special Adviser to the IsDB President and AHTF Coordinator, said: "Afghanistan has seen decades of continued conflicts and several occurrences of natural disasters that brought profound suffering to the people of the country and reversed many of its development gains. As trustees of the AHTF, we are committed to supporting the socioeconomic development of Afghanistan. The funding to International Medical Corps-UK is part of overall AHTF's efforts to promote inclusive and sustainable development for the provisioning of essential services, including access to clean water, primary education, and basic healthcare in remote rural communities, to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis. With these funds, International Medical Corps-UK will provide our Afghan brothers and sisters in Paktika with improved access to water sanitation and hygiene services."
"Access to clean, safe water is key to overall health, preventing water-borne diseases and staving off other health issues," said Ognjen Radosavljevic, Managing Director of International Medical Corps UK. "Our work in Afghanistan spans nearly four decades, and we are grateful to IsDB and AHTF for their support of this important project," he added.
At present, the communities in Pakitka's Urgon and Yusufkhel districts rely on unsafe water sources such as rivers, streams, wells, boreholes, and traditional ponds. Continued drought, which has resulted in the drying-up of springs, wells, rivers, and streams across Afghanistan, and the damage to water points in Paktika due to the recent June 2022 Afghanistan earthquake are the key issues jeopardizing the sustainability of existing water points. Therefore, this project will make clean water accessible to those whose water systems have been destroyed, damaged, or contaminated.
The AHTF serves as a vehicle to channel humanitarian assistance, address basic needs, and promote self-reliance and development in the country, following the decision of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC at its 17th Extraordinary Session held on 19 December 2021 in Islamabad, Pakistan.