U.S. Agency for International Development
September 6, 2002
Afghan Humanitarian Relief and Reconstruction
Afghanistan was the number one recipient of U.S. humanitarian assistance before September 11, and America continues to lead the international community today. Poverty, famine, a devastating drought, and years of war and civil strife have created a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, which has been aggravated by years of Taliban misrule. The people of the United States, through USAID, have responded.
- Funds. The President pledged $360 million to help the people of Afghanistan. Since October 1, 2001 the U.S. Government has already provided more than $420 million in assistance, more than $220 million is through USAID.
- Food. The United States provided 80 percent of all food aid to U.N. World Food Program (WFP) for Afghanistan last fiscal year, and already more than 50 percent this year. Our goal is to deliver 300,000 metric tons (MT) of food aid to the people of Afghanistan through the spring. (52,000 MT of food a month will feed approximately six million people.)
- Supplies. To protect people from the weather, USAID is providing wool blankets and quilts; shelter kits, plastic sheeting and winterized tents. We're also distributing mattresses, clothes, stoves, cooking sets, firewood, coal, lanterns and water containers.
- Medicine and healthcare. We've provided medical kits and funds for health centers and mobile clinics. We're sponsoring public heath education and programs on hygiene, obstetrics, maternal and childcare, and malnutrition. We're employing trained personnel to conduct educational outreach on basic health and nutrition, especially to women. We're helping expectant mothers, training local birth attendants and funding the distribution of vitamins and the immunization of young children.
- Communications. Through the International Organization for Migration, we're distributing over 30,000 radios that allow Afghans to hear special broadcast bulletins concerning food distribution, security, health care and other information relevant to displaced people.
- Transport. We've airlifted commodities from Pakistan and Italy to ensure there was no break in the Central Asian pipelines into Afghanistan, and funded the purchase of vehicles--some equipped with snow plows--to speed the delivery of supplies into villages.
- Personnel. We've deployed Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) to four locations in the region to manage our operations on the ground and rapidly respond to changing situations.
Rehabilitation and Reconstruction
- Housing. We are beginning small-scale spot reconstruction like providing materials to rehabilitate damaged housing for returning displaced persons.
- Roads and bridges. We're providing funds to upgrade and rebuild roads, especially to markets, and repair and reconstruct bridges.
- Wells and irrigation systems. We're paying for the drilling of wells, the constructing and repairing of irrigation and water-supply systems, and the operation and maintenance of water pumping systems to provide people with potable water.
- Agriculture rehabilitation and seeds. We're providing training in agricultural techniques and animal husbandry. We producing large quantities of special varieties of seeds and distributing them to farmers to plant in winter to prevent serious food shortages next year.
- Income generation. We're funding "food for work" and "cash for work" programs that enable people to have their nutritional needs met, increase their family income, while helping to rebuild their country.