Australia donates US$2 million for UNICEF’s humanitarian response to Children on the Move in Afghanistan

KABUL/SYDNEY, Afghanistan, 20 June 2017 - The Government of Australia today contributed US$2.2 million (AUD 3,000,000) for UNICEF’s humanitarian response in Afghanistan. The funds will support critical child protection, health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene activities for displaced and returnee children and women. The one year contribution was made through Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

As children in Afghanistan continue to face malnutrition and the country deals with an increasing number of people on the move as displaced persons or returnees, Australia’s funding will provide ready-to-use therapeutic foods to treat severe acute malnutrition, and supply water, sanitation and hygiene services to prevent the spread of disease among internally displaced people, returnees and their host communities.

With over 9 million people in Afghanistan having limited or no access to essential health and basic education services, Australia’s contribution will fund mobile health teams to provide basic health services to communities on the move, which are currently unserved or underserved by existing health facilities. It will also enable UNICEF to extend the provision of safe learning spaces to educate and protect displaced children who are currently out of school or studying in overcrowded classrooms. 

Announcing Australia’s humanitarian assistance, Australia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mr Richard Feakes said, “Australia’s humanitarian assistance focuses on protecting the most vulnerable, with a particular emphasis on women and children. Australia is proud to partner with UNICEF to support critical protection, health and education support for displaced and returnee children and their families.”
 
Acknowledging Australia’s support, UNICEF Representative to Afghanistan Adele Khodr said, “We welcome this generous contribution to UNICEF’s work to provide vulnerable children and women in Afghanistan who have endured difficult journeys and transitions, with access to essential services to keep them healthy and safeguard them from harm and abuse.”

UNICEF in Afghanistan works with Government and other partners within the context of the inter-agency cluster framework to provide emergency health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, protection and education services to people affected by conflict or natural disasters.

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About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 
 
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.au
 
For more information, please contact:
 
UNICEF Australia:
Laura Gibbons, UNICEF Australia, 04 35206273, lgibbons@unicef.org.au  

UNICEF Afghanistan:
Denise Shepherd-Johnson, dshepherdjohnson@unicef.org; Tel: 079 850 7110
Ahmad Jan Nawzadi, anawzadi@unicef.org; Tel: 079 850 7112
 
Australian Embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan: kabul@dfat.gov.au