Afghanistan & AKDN

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kmaherali
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Taliban Discusses Afghanistan's Development With Aga Khan Foundation

KABUL (Sputnik) - The Taliban, represented by the deputy prime minister of the Taliban-led Afghan government, Abdul Salam Hanafi, met with the envoy of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), Akbar Pesnani, to discuss a comprehensive development strategy for the country, the movement's spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Saturday.

Pesnani reported on the activities of the AKDN agencies aimed at developing the cultural, economic and social spheres in Afghanistan, and noted that over 140 cultural heritage sites have already been restored in the country with the foundation's assistance.

The AKDN envoy stressed that the current priority should be the development of female education in Afghanistan.

In his turn, Hanafi said that the Taliban-led Afghan government was ready to assist the foundation in its mission in the country. He also noted that joint activities should focus on the development of the health care and education systems in Afghanistan. The Taliban already began creating conditions for girls' education in Afghanistan, Hanafi added.

The Taliban came to power in Afghanistan in mid-August, causing the US-backed government to collapse. The group then set up a new all-male non-inclusive government, led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, who served as the foreign minister during the previous Taliban rule and has been under UN sanctions since 2001.

The country is currently suffering from severe humanitarian and economic crises, exacerbated by the Taliban's decisions to impose sharia laws in the country, in particular, de facto banning women from education and work.
The Taliban are yet to be recognized as the official Afghan government by the international community, though many counties maintain humanitarian and political contacts with the movement.


https://sputniknews.com/20211106/taliba ... 26915.html
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Aga Khan’s envoy meets Taliban deputy prime minister

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https://www.samaa.tv/news/2021/11/aga-k ... -minister/

Aga Khan’s envoy meets Taliban deputy prime minister

Hanafi urges AKDN to build a hospital in Afghanistan

SAMAA | Samaa Web Desk - Posted: Nov 6, 2021

A special envoy of Prince Karim Aga Khan has met with the Taliban Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi in Kabul, a Taliban spokesman announced on Saturday sharing the pictures of the meeting.

Hanafi urged the Aga Khan Development Network, or AKDN, to build a well-equipped hospital in Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s Pashto language website Nunn Takki Asia reported.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, in a tweet, confirmed that the activities of the AKDN were discussed during the meeting between Hanafi and Ali Akbar Pesnani, Aga Khan’s envoy for Afghanistan.

Russian news agency Sputnik said the meeting was aimed at developing the cultural, economic, and social sphere in Afghanistan and Pesnani said that over 140 cultural heritage sites had already been restored in Afghanistan with the help of AKDN.

According to Mujahid, the deputy prime minister told Aga Khan’s special envoy that the network could invest in various sectors in Afghanistan.

He assured Pesnani that the Taliban would provide the necessary conditions and facilities for AKDN activities.
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Taliban invited Prince Karim Agha Khan to visit Afghanistan

Image

Taliban invited Prince Karim Agha Khan to visit Afghanistan

News desk
Taliban have invited Prince Karim Agha Khan to visit Afghanistan. Taliban spokesman Zabeehullah Mujahid has said in a statement that Taliban Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi met the Special Representative of Agha Khan Ali Akbar Pasnani on Saturday.

According to the Afghan media, the Taliban Deputy Prime Minister also invited the spiritual leader of Ismailis Prince Karim Agha Khan to visit Afghanistan.

According to the reports, Abdul Salam Hanafi also requested Aghakhan Development Network (AKDN) to establish a standard hospital in Afghanistan so that patients do not have to go out of the country.

On this occasion, Ali Akbar Pasnani informed the Taliban leader about the ongoing social, economic and cultural works in Afghanistan by Aghakhan Development Network and reinforced his commitment to continue them in the future.

According to the Russian News Agency Spitnik, Akbar Pasnani emphasized the restoration of women's education and in response, the Taliban Deputy Prime Minister said that the Taliban government is creating a favorable environment in this way.

The Taliban leader requested that the AKDN institutions should expand the scope of their ongoing work in Afghanistan and also assured to provide full inspection in this reference.

https://baam-e-jahan.com/?p=9714
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Taliban invite The Aga Khan to visit Afghanistan

CHITRAL: Unlike the previous tenure of the Taliban in mid 90’s, the current Taliban dispensation in Afghanistan has extended a friendly hand to to the Aga Khan Foundation operational in Afghanistan since four decades, in the field of social work.

According to the Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban deputy prime minister Abdul Salam Hanafi met with special envoy of The Aga Khan, Ali Akbar Pesnani, and discussed about AKDN ongoing projects in Afghanistan. He also requested the AKDN to set up a quality hospital in Afghanistan. The Afghan deputy prime minister said their government is taking steps to facilitate female education.

On this occasion the Afghan deputy prime minister also extended a formal invitation to H.H Prince Karim Aga Khan to visit Afghanistan. .. CN report, 07 Nov 2021. Source

https://chitralnews.com/taliban-invite- ... ghanistan/
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Over 1,100 Tons Of Relief Items Sent As Pakistan's Humanitarian Aid To Afghanistan Continues

Pakistan has so far dispatched eight consignments containing 1,115 tons of relief items for Afghan people as the process of extending humanitarian aid to the war-torn country continues

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Nov, 2021 ) :Pakistan has so far dispatched eight consignments containing 1,115 tons of relief items for Afghan people as the process of extending humanitarian aid to the war-torn country continues.

Consisting of food, medicine and shelters, two consignments were dispatched through Torkham border, two from Ghulam Khan border and one from Chaman border.

Five consignments were arranged with the collaboration of Turkish Red Crescent Society, Aga Khan Foundation, Rizq, a Lahore-based startup and Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust.

Out of these, three consignments were sent through Torkham, one each from Angoor Adda and Kharlachi.

The said five consignments consisted of 554 tons of food, medicines and shelters.

Besides dispatching relief items, Pakistan had also been supporting the Afghan masses by sending medical teams to cope with the medical emergency situation which is feared to deteriorate with the onset of the winter.

Pakistan has established two medical camps in which 8,120 patients were examined and 530 patients went through surgical procedures conducted by the Pakistani eye specialists.

The first free eye camp was organised in Khost from November 18-20, 2021 where 2670 patients were treated while 324 surgeries were performed.

The second free eye camp was organized at Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hospital Kabul from November 22-24, 2021 where 5,450 patients including children, women and the elderly were treated and 206 surgeries were performed.

Since the pullout of foreign troops from Afghanistan, Pakistan had been calling the world to assist Afghanistan to avert a humanitarian and economic catastrophe.

In their interactions with foreign leaders, Pakistani leadership had been urging the world to stand with Afghans in the time of need irrespective of the geopolitical interests.

Pakistan has recently announced to send Rs 5 billion humanitarian aid to Afghanistan which would include 50,000 metric tons of wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelters and other critical supplies.

As a humanitarian gesture, Pakistan has also allowed India to transport 50,000 metric tons of wheat through Pakistan to Afghanistan.

The government also assured to facilitate the return of Afghan patients stranded in India.

Moreover, the country also approve in-principle tariff and sales tax reduction on key Afghan exports to Pakistan to support the war-hit economy.

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/o ... 10694.html
Last edited by kmaherali on Mon Jan 31, 2022 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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UNDP and AKDN expand collaboration to meet needs in Afghanistan

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In Kabul, a young mother holds her infant at the French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children.
AKDN / David Fox

Kabul, Afghanistan, 7 December 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand their long-term collaboration on supporting the Afghan people in building their resilience – providing amongst other things essential health services, food security and access to renewable energy.

“This is a significant step in expanding our partnership with experienced development actors in responding to human crises,” said Abdallah Al Dardari, UNDP Resident Representative in Kabul. “I believe that this partnership will holistically assist the people of Afghanistan to overcome the challenges in these very difficult times. The framework outlined for this partnership will also enhance the effectiveness of assistance.”

Akbar Ali Pesnani, Envoy of His Highness the Aga Khan to Afghanistan, remarked: “I am delighted that we have reached this stage today as this MoU will be a milestone for Aga Khan Development Network - Afghanistan in its collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme - Afghanistan. This is the first step in laying the groundwork for future collaboration between AKDN and UN entities in Afghanistan.”

For more information, please contact:

Sona Kamjo

AKDN Communication and Public Affairs Coordinator

https://www.akdn.org/press-release/undp ... fghanistan
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Spotlight AKF's humanitarian work in Afghanistan

In recent months, AKF has shifted its efforts in Afghanistan to focus on delivering humanitarian aid to the most remote and marginalised communities. So far, over 1,200 tonnes of food has been delivered to 2,350 households in northern Afghanistan.

In collaboration with the World Food Programme, our sister agency, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat has been focused on similar relief efforts. It has distributed 5,000 MTs of food, reaching 26,000 households since August 2021.

AKF recently signed several new grants to as part of our humanitarian response in Afghanistan. We look forward to sharing more details in due course.

Our commitment to the people of Afghanistan endures.
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Re: Afghanistan & AKDN

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AKF signs several new grants to support humanitarian relief efforts in Afghanistan

The Aga Khan Foundation has recently signed a series of grants with several international donors to support the Afghan people through the current crisis


By drawing on longstanding partnerships with international donors, the Aga Khan Foundation has redoubled its efforts to support the people of Afghanistan by establishing several new programmes focused on delivering humanitarian aid, bolstering healthcare and education, and rebuilding local livelihoods.

Afghanistan is currently facing the world’s most critical humanitarian crisis. Within the next few months, 97% of the country is expected to live in poverty, with most living on less than $2 a day. The World Health Organisation predicts that a million Afghan children are at risk of starvation this winter alone – more than the entire number of casualties over two decades of war. At this extremely challenging time, Afghanistan needs international solidarity.

AKF has worked in Afghanistan since 2003, building upon the existing presence of the wider Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) which began working in the country in 1996 to support food aid distribution during the civil war. 25 years on, new challenges have emerged, yet AKF continues to support remote and vulnerable communities. In recent weeks, AKF has signed new humanitarian grants with the following partners to help alleviate the suffering of millions of Afghans.

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

AKF has signed two new grants with the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) to provide critical support the Afghan people.

The first of these will improve food security for more than 9,500 households in Afghanistan’s northern and central provinces. Over the next 4 years, AKF will work with smallholder farmers and women-headed households to boost production, sustainably manage natural resources and build resilience to natural disasters. Tailored food security and livelihood plans will be developed at the household-level and similar plans will be made at the community-level to support the development of public infrastructure, watershed management, and improving access to finance.

The second grant will go towards food security and emergency livelihoods, healthcare, and education, with a dedicated focus on safeguarding and will help meet the urgent needs of more than 3.5 million people.

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A group of farmers being supported by the SDC programme. / Sayed Habib Bidel

German Federal Foreign Office

With support from the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), AKF is working to improve access to life-saving health, nutrition & psychological services for more than 360,000 people across six provinces in the north and central parts of Afghanistan (Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Samangan, Bamyan and Daikundi). This programme will also provide support to the French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) in Kabul.

The programme will have an emphasis on reducing maternal, new-born and child mortality, reducing the spread of infectious disease including COVID-19, and improving child health and nutrition.

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Mothers visit an AKDN Health Clinic in Badakhshan. / Sandra Calligaro

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, via PATRIP Foundation

Afghanistan’s health system has fallen under immense strain in recent months. In response, AKF will provide mobile emergency health and nutrition services at the community-level in Badakhshan, Takhar and Baghlan provinces, with the objective of improving access to vulnerable populations in these hard-to-reach locations.

This grant will support six mobile community health teams to reach nearly 50,000 vulnerable people, including pregnant and new mothers, children, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), people with disabilities, prisoners, and nomadic communities.

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Afghanistan is currently experiencing an extremely harsh winter. / Sayed Habib Bidel

Hilton Foundation

Through this humanitarian response programme, AKF will reach more than 3 million people across eight of Afghanistan’s central highland provinces with emergency relief support, food assistance, medicine, and health services.

The partnership will invest in community-led interventions that will strengthen the resilience of local people and support the restoration of livelihoods. For example, we are hiring local people to support the urgent services being delivered.

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An AKF staff member registers community members to receive food aid. / Sayed Habib Bidel

Through all of these programmes, AKF is working to build the resilience of vulnerable Afghan communities so that they are better equipped to respond to the evolving nature of this crisis. AKF is firmly committed to the people of Afghanistan and will continue to nurture partnerships in order to provide effective, sustainable and locally relevant support.

https://www.akf.org.uk/akf-signs-severa ... 25c8c5fc8d
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Re: Afghanistan & AKDN

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AKF's Matt Reed joins France24 debate about the crisis in Afghanistan

AKF's Global Director of Institutional Partnerships made the case to open up international funding channels as soon as possible


On 9th February, Matt Reed featured on the French international news network France24 to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan along with fellow experts.

During the programme, Matt made the case to open up international funding channels into the country as soon as possible so that organisations like AKF can deliver humanitarian response programmes and continue to support Afghan people through development activities.

“It’s absolutely possible that money sent to Afghanistan doesn’t have to be channelled through the state,” he says, “Our organisation – the Aga Khan Development Network – has for a long time managed large public healthcare programmes on behalf of the government, so it is certainly possible.”

Watch video at:

https://www.akf.org.uk/akfs-matt-reed-j ... 25c8c5fc8d
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Re: Afghanistan & AKDN

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The Afghanistan crisis: Standing with those forced to flee
with Christina Lamb, Zarlasht Halaimzai, Babar Baloch, Emma Cherniavsky and Matt Reed

22 March 2022 | 19:00-20:00 GMT | Online

REGISTER TO WATCH ONLINE https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/registe ... 25c8c5fc8d

Since devastating news from Afghanistan dominated headlines last year, the humanitarian situation in the country has rapidly deteriorated.

Roughly 3.4 million people are now displaced by conflict inside the country and today, almost 23 million people are facing extreme hunger. Afghanistan is now considered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Join us for an opportunity to learn from UNHCR, AKF and others about the situation on the ground and how we are collaboratively working with communities and international partners to provide essential humanitarian relief, increase resilience and help build hope for the future.
Speakers

Christina Lamb OBE is the Chief Foreign Correspondent at The Sunday Times. Christina is one of Britain’s leading foreign correspondents and a bestselling author. She has reported from most of the world’s hotspots including Afghanistan and has won 15 major awards including Europe’s top war reporting prize, the Prix Bayeux.


Zarlasht Halaimzai is of the Co-Founder Refugee Trauma Initiative and a UK for UNHCR Trustee. Zarlasht and her family were forcibly displaced from Kabul when she was eleven years old. She arrived in the UK at age fifteen and was granted asylum. Zarlasht co-founded Refugee Trauma Initiative in 2016 to help refugees dealing with the emotional fallout of displacement. In 2021, Zarlasht was included in BBC’s 100 Women List.


Babar Baloch is a Senior Spokesperson for UNHCR. Babar has worked for UNHCR for more than 10 years largely as a senior spokesperson. Babar has worked from many conflict zones including most recently Afghanistan.


Emma Cherniavsky is the founding CEO of UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the United Kingdom. Emma has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and senior management in the non-profit sector and in politics.


Matt Reed is the Global Director of Institutional Partnerships, Aga Khan Foundation and CEO, Aga Khan Foundation UK. Matt has worked for the AKF since 2009 in both London and India. As the Global Director of Institutional Partnerships, Matt coordinates all of AKF’s work with bilateral, multilateral, foundation and corporate partners worldwide. Matt has been CEO of AKF in the UK since 2016.
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2022-03-17 Aga Khan Agency for Habitat donates thousands more trees for a greener Kabul

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https://www.akdn.org/press-release/aga- ... ener-kabul

Aga Khan Agency for Habitat donates thousands more trees for a greener Kabul
Related Links
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat
AKDN in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan, 17 March 2022 – This week the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat supported the Afghan government's annual tree plantation campaign by donating 5,000 trees and plants to the greenery of Kabul – adding to the 45,000 already planted to date – to help make the city safer, cleaner and greener.

Climate change has significantly affected Afghanistan’s landscape and poses a very real threat to the population. Increased incidences of drought, change in precipitation rates, floods and avalanches have had drastic impacts on people and property. In Kabul, climate change compounds the impacts of unplanned urbanisation, an increase of motorised vehicles on the roads, the construction of high-rise buildings and the reduction of space for public gatherings due to commercialisation of lands.

In response to this, AKAH’s tree donation – together with irrigation equipment – was made in partnership with government line ministries including the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), State Ministry for Disaster Management (SMDM), Ministry of Agriculture and Land (MEAL), Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MoRRD), Ministry of Urban Development and Land (MUDL), Directorate of Afghanistan Olympics, Kabul University and the municipality of Kabul.

Tree planting not only helps absorb carbon, but when carefully situated, can help make communities safer and more resilient against natural disasters. AKAH is committed to providing varying types of trees in the upcoming years. Also, with funds from the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment, it plans to build a new park and a solid waste management system in the capital.
akah-afghanistan-march_2022_kabul_9lr.jpg
AKAH’s tree donation – together with irrigation equipment – was made in partnership with government line ministries.
AKAH

“Tree plantation and greening are important initiatives that we carry forward in all of our countries,” said H.E. Akbar Ali Pesnani, Envoy of His Highness the Aga Khan to Afghanistan.

“The AKDN built two major parks in the capital of Afghanistan – Chihilsitoon and Bobur Gardens. In addition, we plant thousands of trees annually. More specifically, we provided 14,000 different types of trees last year, which were planted in Kabul and its surrounding 14 districts, contributing to both Kabul City’s environmental sustainability and the residents’ quality of life and ecological sustenance.”

In Afghanistan, AKAH is present in Kabul and the northern and north-eastern provinces of Baghlan, Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz, Samangan, Parwan and Bamyan, as these rural areas are most prone to natural disasters and the populations in these areas suffer from poverty and little access to basic infrastructure. AKAH works with these communities to ensure their habitats are safe, build resilience and improve their quality of life.

“Let us all work together to make Afghanistan green. We are happy to have support from INGOs such as AKAH which contributes to this greenery for which we are thankful,” said Zainul Abiddin Abed, Head of NEPA.

For more information, please contact:

Esaaq Muqbel

Communications Officer

Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, Afghanistan

Esaaq.muqbel@akdn.org
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Re: Afghanistan & AKDN

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VIDEO: The Afghanistan crisis: Standing with those forced to flee

Image

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihdRJiXAP-4

Since devastating news from Afghanistan dominated headlines last year, the humanitarian situation in the country has rapidly deteriorated.

Roughly 3.4 million people are now displaced by conflict inside the country and today, almost 23 million people are facing extreme hunger. Afghanistan is now experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Learn from UNHCR, AKF and others about the situation on the ground and how we are collaboratively working with communities and international partners to provide essential humanitarian relief, increase resilience and help build hope for the future.
kmaherali
Posts: 24206
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Re: Afghanistan & AKDN

Post by kmaherali »

Our commitment to Afghanistan

Standing with Afghans at a time of dire need


Afghanistan is at a critical point in its history. Since 1990, the country’s Human Development Index score has increased by almost 70% despite numerous political and security uncertainties. However, this progress faces an existential challenge following the collapse of the government on 15th August 2021.

The resulting social, economic, and political shocks have had serious repercussions for the people of Afghanistan. The effects have been especially pronounced in rural areas where economic activities and livelihoods have been severely disrupted.

Displacement driven by conflict, drought, increasing poverty and food insecurity, as well as the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, are generating a grave humanitarian crisis.

The United Nations estimates that nearly 24.4 million people in Afghanistan will be in need of humanitarian aid in 2022. That’s over 60% of the population. The UN has also estimated that 97% of Afghans will live below the poverty line by June.

Now is not the time for the world to turn its back on the Afghan people.

Agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network have been working in Afghanistan since the mid-1990s, beginning with humanitarian assistance during the height of the civil war. Since then, AKDN has invested in every step of Afghanistan’s recovery and progress across social, economic, and cultural spheres of life.

Working in Afghanistan is challenging but we have been successful – a testament to our community-focused approach, the trust we have built with Afghans over the last 30 years, and our commitment to innovating and adapting to evolving and difficult circumstances.

Continued support is needed now more than ever as Afghanistan grapples with its humanitarian crisis.

Our commitment to the Afghan people at this difficult time remains firm.

With the support of international and local partners, we are implementing a wide-ranging humanitarian response covering food security, health, education, climate change adaptation and livelihoods, including the economic empowerment of women. We believe these investments are essential to sustain and build on the gains of the last 30 years.

By continuing to invest in Afghanistan together, we can stand with Afghans, reinforce the progress that has been made, and help build hope for the future.

Read more about AKDN’s humanitarian response https://www.akf.org.uk/akdns-work-in-af ... an-crisis/ .

Read more about AKDN’s work in Afghanistan https://www.akdn.org/where-we-work/cent ... fghanistan .

https://www.akf.org.uk/our-commitment-t ... 25c8c5fc8d

*********
Afghanistan today: An interview with Dr Najmuddin Najm, CEO of AKF Afghanistan

An insight into the current crisis in Afghanistan, how AKF is responding and why hope endures


https://www.akf.org.uk/afghanistan-toda ... 25c8c5fc8d
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Afghanistan today: An interview with Dr Najmuddin Najm, CEO of AKF Afghanistan

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Afghanistan has seen considerable change over the past 30 to 40 years.

Dr Najm speaks about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, what the Aga Khan Foundation is doing in response, and his hopes for the future.

Of the 17 countries in which the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) operates, its largest footprint is in Afghanistan. It employs around 1,200 staff, 99 percent of whom are Afghan, including AKF Afghanistan’s CEO, Dr Najmuddin Najm. Dr Najmuddin has worked with AKF since 2004, starting as an office manager and working his way up to CEO in 2019. His leadership and local roots have been integral to AKF’s response to the current situation in Afghanistan.

Dr Najmuddin, please could you start by describing the current humanitarian situation in Afghanistan?

As we all know, Afghanistan is in a very difficult and complex situation. It’s not the result of one phenomenon – there are historical reasons. Over the last few years, the overall socio-economic situation in Afghanistan has been worsening, compounded by several factors.

After 15 August 2021, things drastically changed here. Though it was anticipated, people were not expecting a change of this scale and scope. We already had a humanitarian situation under stress, but now it is a humanitarian crisis. According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), over 22 million people in Afghanistan will [soon] be in an emergency situation – that is around 60 percent of the whole population.

What are the main challenges Afghans are facing?

Food security is a major issue. Access to financial services is also a big challenge, as well as access to public services. Livelihoods are under pressure, and people are struggling to find ways to overcome the economic issues they are facing. This has led to increasing poverty in both rural and urban areas.

When we go to the field and talk to people, we understand how people’s livelihood opportunities have drastically reduced or disappeared altogether. In the past, a lot of people were employed by public or private sectors or would migrate to nearby countries like Iran and Pakistan to find work and send money home to their families. Under the current situation there are very limited emplacement options, and the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating this. In Kabul and other large cities, you can clearly see features of urban poverty with an increasing number of people seeking help or desperately looking for daily-wage work. One also cannot ignore natural factors such as climate change playing its role in contributing to this situation. We’ve had unusually low rainfall over the past few years, which has impacted our agriculture-based economy.

What concerns you most about the current humanitarian situation?

We always had uncertainties and lived through them, but this time it’s going to take a lot more time and effort for people to come out of the fear and hopelessness. Women in particular are very concerned about what will happen to them and their children in the future. The situation at Kabul airport in August was an example of how desperate people were to leave the country. In fact, that is another concern I have: Hundreds of thousands have left Afghanistan in the last six months and those were mostly educated people. The country cannot afford such a loss of human capital – or a so-called “brain drain” – particularly at a time [when] they are very much required.

Another area of concern is financial constraints. We’ve lost many economic ties and the normal flow of funds – whether that be for business and trade or for humanitarian aid and development – has become increasingly difficult to maintain. This is affecting the livelihoods of millions of Afghans.

Image

How has AKF adapted to the situation?

When it comes to talking about our ability to adapt, I always emphasise the history of our presence. We’ve been operating here since 2003, and the wider Aga Khan Development Network since 1996. That means our engagements, operations and programme design and implementation have always been informed by Afghanistan’s fragile environment and its challenges. We’ve been able to remain operational and that is very much rooted in what we’ve done in the last two decades. We’ve always worked at the local level, established strong relationships with communities and have created an environment in which our programmes are not only accepted by communities but are also owned by them.

Our neutrality, quality of work and reach have played an important role in our resilience at this time, as well as our ability to reorganise ourselves in the face of the crisis.

What does AKF’s work in Afghanistan look like now?

During the aftermath of 15 August, we restarted our operations and reorganised our existing programmes. Of course, there are limitations, but we’ve endeavoured to remain active in all the areas that we were already working in. That includes major programmes such as health, education and early childhood development, agriculture and food security, climate change adaptation, economic recovery and infrastructure development.

On top of this, we’ve added an entire humanitarian response, through which we’re aiming to reach more than 500,000 households, approximately 3.5 million people. Currently, this includes delivering food packages, as well as supporting food-for-work and cash-for-work activities. We’re acutely aware of the importance of agriculture in the country, so this work also involves support for livestock development and supplying resources to farmers.

Can you tell us a little bit about the key challenges faced by NGOs, such as AKF, to support Afghans at this time?

Firstly, cash flow into Afghanistan has been a major challenge – ensuring funds are coming through safe and legal routes.

Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, with so many educated Afghans fleeing the country, international organisations are having to reinvest in growing their technical and professional capacity.

Thirdly, and what has been a particularly difficult challenge, is harnessing the support of the international community to support Afghanistan; many want to focus on the humanitarian aspect of the issue. Though very important, this in isolation disregards the chronic factors behind the current situation. The international community needs to address the root causes of the current issues and make sure that interventions are meaningful and have long-term goals. Investments need to be directed towards enabling societies and building resilience. I am sure that if people were supported properly, they would find ways to deal with the current issues. We need to look at people in Afghanistan as much more than beneficiaries; they are true stakeholders and are an important part of the solution.

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What else does Afghanistan need from the international community?

The answer is very simple: Afghanistan needs attention and engagement. Afghan people shouldn’t feel excluded from the world and international support, and it is the responsibility of the international community to make sure that Afghans feel part of the world’s family. That feeling of belonging needs to be strengthened and that can only be done by continuing to engage with Afghans at their most difficult times. Although a small portion of the population has left the country, millions of people will stay here in Afghanistan – we must reassure Afghans that we are with them.

What gives you hope in the current situation?

The resilience of Afghan communities and their strength. We have seen these people successfully come through a lot of challenges. Personally, I’ve seen a situation like this many times in recent history and the people have always stood on their own two feet. After each difficult time we have seen that they continue to educate their children, establish health systems, expand their work in agriculture, explore options of connecting with the wider region and with the whole world. That is what gives me hope and motivates me to invest in Afghanistan’s development again and again.

It’s important to remember where we’ve come from – this is not the Afghanistan of 30 or 40 years ago. While their space is limited now, we have a very dynamic and active society of women. There are millions of bright girls and women driving public services here, running businesses and engaging in all of the sectors that AKF supports. This potential also gives me hope.

Finally, what do you think people outside of Afghanistan would be surprised to hear about the current situation?

They hear a lot of negative news about Afghanistan. They think that everything has collapsed and that there is no space for work. What I say is that there is a lot of potential, there is still hope and we need to make sure that we build on that. That is an important message that we must tell the world because, whilst political trends come and go and there are difficult times, the people of Afghanistan are still here. The potential and capacity for a better future exists, we just need to enable and support it.

Read about some of the new grants signed with various international partners to support the people of Afghanistan https://www.akdn.org/project/new-grants ... fghanistan .

The Aga Khan Foundation thanks all the donors supporting their work in Afghanistan.

https://the.ismaili/global/news/feature ... fghanistan
kmaherali
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Building Hope and Confidence, AKDN in Afghanistan

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FRI May 20 • 5:30pm PT | 8:30pm ET • Live Stream
Friday Night Reflections: Building Hope and Confidence, AKDN in Afghanistan

Over the past 40 years, the situation in Afghanistan has grown ever more complex. Amidst droughts and insecurity, the country has endured conflict and 30 years of civil war. Today, Afghanistan is in the throes of a humanitarian and economic crisis.

On this evening's episode of Friday Night Reflections, we are privileged to be joined by Khalil Z. Shariff, CEO of Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Dr. Najmuddin Najm, CEO of Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan. The two leaders sit down with host Kiran Hayat for a conversation exploring the situation in Afghanistan on the ground, the lifesaving impact of AKDN activities and efforts to address food insecurity, employment, health care, education and the status of women.

Of course, it would be impossible to recognize the impact of Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), without recognizing the leadership, generosity, and global-mindedness that the Jamat has demonstrated through the World Partnership Walk.

Join us after Jamatkhana ceremonies tomorrow, Saturday, May 21, for a special 35-minute in-person viewing event.

Watching at home? Enjoy the show with your family by tuning in at iicanada.live https://iicanada.org/videos, or watch anytime following the live stream at iicanada.org/fnr https://iicanada.org/videos/faith-tradi ... tions-list.

Daily Diamond
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"As Afghanistan enters a new period of transition, it will need the contributions of all its people, men and women, in every part of the country, to address their common challenges: rising poverty, climate disruption, an unforgiving pandemic. It will need all their talents to build an inclusive future with more opportunities, requiring more education, more knowledge, more private initiative. In these endeavours, AKDN is, and will remain, a steadfast partner."

Mawlana Hazar Imam, Geneva, Switzerland, November 2020
kmaherali
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 3:01 pm

Afghanistan AKF receives EU grant to provide humanitarian assistance to 100,000+ people

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By providing emergency food support, improved water and sanitation facilities, and agricultural provisions, this new programme aims to support Afghans who continue to live in crisis

Building on its longstanding relationship with the European Union (EU) in Afghanistan, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has signed a grant agreement with its humanitarian arm. The €2.8 million grant will bolster AKF’s ongoing efforts to support the people of Afghanistan amidst one of the world’s most dire humanitarian crises.

Humanitarian needs in Afghanistan continue to rise with an estimated 24.4 million people in need and 23 million experiencing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity. Mountainous areas in the northeast and central highlands faced high food insecurity pre-August 2021 due to remoteness, small landholdings, a short growing season, and drought. Political and economic shocks in the aftermath of August 2021 have compounded this, leaving many without access to sufficient food or water.

Through the 12-month emergency response project, AKF, alongside the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, will reach nearly 100,000 vulnerable, drought-affected people with life-saving assistance.

Over 35,000 people will be provided with emergency food support through the provision of a basket of basic goods, sufficient to feed a family of seven. Wherever possible, this assistance will be provided in cash to support the local economy.

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Environmental changes in Afghanistan are impacting water supplies, as well as agricultural livelihoods | Photo: Sayed Habib Bidel

Further, as many latrines have been damaged or destroyed during the conflict and many displaced people do not have access to sufficient latrines, the project will rehabilitate 1,300 latrines, benefiting at least 9,100 people. This will contribute to the reduction of communicable diseases and improve the safety and dignity of communities, particularly women and girls. To complement these activities and address a lack of access to hygiene supplies due to reduced incomes and availability in markets, hygiene kits will be delivered to 6,000 households.

Finally, the project will support the livelihoods of rural Afghans through the protection of livestock. Due to the past and ongoing drought, the shutdown of veterinarian services following August 2021, and limited or no access to inputs (feed, medicines), livestock mortality rates have risen dramatically while productivity levels have decreased. This directly impacts farmers’ income. The project will therefore support animal health workers to reach nearly 16,000 farmers with emergency animal health services and medicines, as well as supply feed to over 2,000 farmers and fodder seeds to a further 500.

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A vet gives medicine to a calf in Takhar province, Afghanistan | Photo: Sayed Habib Bidel

Through this and all of its programmes, AKF is working to build the resilience of vulnerable Afghan communities so that they are better equipped to respond to the evolving nature of this crisis. AKF is firmly committed to the people of Afghanistan and will continue to nurture partnerships in order to provide effective, sustainable and locally relevant support.

https://www.akf.org.uk/akf-receives-eu- ... 25c8c5fc8d

To address the acute shortage of safe drinking water due to the drought and damaged water supply systems, reduce the prevalence of waterborne diseases and mitigate protection risks for women and girls who travel long distances to collect water, the project will rehabilitate or construct 68 water wells and water piping systems to improve access to safe, clean drinking water for over 20,000 people.
kmaherali
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Afghanistan in pictures: The faces of resilience

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“Whilst political trends come and go and there are difficult times, the people of Afghanistan are still here. The resilience and strength of Afghan communities gives me hope.”

– Dr Najmuddin Najm, CEO of AKF Afghanistan

June 2022 – Despite the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, hope endures through the lives and experiences of the country’s communities. At the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), we are proud to work alongside these communities and facilitate their locally led efforts to rise up out of hardship, nurture new opportunities to thrive and work towards a brighter future. For decades, we have been supporting Afghans in myriad ways, including health and nutrition, education and early childhood development, work and livelihoods, climate resilience and disaster preparedness, and agriculture and food security – this work has continued throughout the present humanitarian crisis.

In this photo gallery, meet some of the *people we are serving in Afghanistan at this critical time.

https://www.akdn.org/gallery/afghanista ... resilience
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