Agreements will focus on water, improved sanitation and hygiene services, advanced environmental health, and supporting sustainable transformation in rural areas of Afghanistan
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 13 May 2023 – Under the auspices of HE Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), several Implementation Partner (IP) agreements were signed, today, between IsDB, as the Trustee of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund (AHTF), and a number of international donors. The agreements were signed on the sidelines of the 2023 IsDB Group Annual Meetings in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia.
The first IP agreement was signed between IsDB and the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR), for a project aimed at facilitating sustainable access to safe drinking water in underserved areas of Afghanistan.
The agreement was signed by Eng. Mohammad J. Alsaati, Special Adviser to the IsDB President and AHTF Coordinator, and John Paul Morse, Director of DACAAR, on the sidelines of the 2023 IsDB Group Annual Meetings. The signing event was attended by senior representatives from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), IsDB member countries, implementing partners, and other stakeholders, as well as guests.
According to the agreement, AHTF will extend a grant of US$ 540,000 to DACAAR to provide beneficiaries from vulnerable communities in Afghanistan’s Kabul, Nangarhar, Faryab, and Kunduz provinces with sustainable access to safe, clean drinking water. The AHTF grant funding comes from the contribution of KSRelief.
The project, which is a good example of effective partnerships, will provide safe, clean drinking water to 13,300 beneficiaries in remote rural areas, including building capacities of those beneficiaries in WASH practices and efficient Operation & Maintenance (O&M) of water management infrastructure. The project’s activities include the construction of solar-powered clean water pumping systems and piped networks with metered household connections to provide clean water for drinking and cooking, reducing the increasing rates of waterborne diseases, including Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) and cholera, prevalent in the target areas.
The second agreement was signed between IsDB 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.
AHTF will extend a grant of US$ 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 Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund 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.
The third agreement was signed between IsDB and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support the construction of 29 family health houses (FHHs) in Afghanistan. The project aims to improve maternal and child healthcare in Afghanistan's remote rural areas by constructing the FHHs in collaboration with the Special Trust Fund for Afghanistan (STFA), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The fourth agreement was signed between IsDB and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) on supporting the Sustainable and Inclusive Transformation of Agrarian Economies in Rural Afghanistan (SITARA).
Eng. Mohammad J. Alsaati, Special Adviser to the IsDB President and AHTF Coordinator, and Dr. Matt T. Reed, Director of Institutional Partnerships of AKF and CEO of AKF UK, put their signatures to the agreement. The signing event was attended by senior representatives from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), member countries, implementing partners, and other stakeholders, as well as guests.
SITARA will facilitate 803 households in the northwest Afghanistan provinces of Kunduz and Takhar. It will directly support households utilizing the platform established by the ongoing Food Security and Agriculture Sustainability for Livelihoods (FASL) Project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC).
On this occasion, IsDB President, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, commented, "All joint implementation agreements signed are highly important. AHTF is a collective response from the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to address a profound humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. I salute this initiative, one that reflects the theme of 2023’s annual meetings, “Partnerships to Fend off Crises”. We are stronger together, and we help each other better when crises occur. Our joint efforts will help our sisters and brothers in Afghanistan gain access to clean water and better health while eliminating water-borne disease.”
AHTF serves as a means to channel humanitarian assistance, meet basic needs, and promote self-reliance and development in the country. The initiative follows the decision of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at its 17th Extraordinary Session, held on 19 December 2021, in Islamabad, Pakistan.