The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today launched a USD $1 million joint programme to assist earthquake-affected families in rebuilding their lives through improving access to basic services in Spera District of Khost Province and Bermal District of Paktika Province, which are UNHCR Priority Areas of Return and Reintegration (PARRs) and one of the main activities of UNDP’s community revitalization scheme.
A key focus of the intervention is supporting families by improving access to sustainable housing, solar lighting, and key infrastructure like water systems, roads and bridges that were damaged by last week’s earthquake.
UNHCR, UNDP and partners are engaged in area-based programming in 70 Priority Areas of Return and Reintegration (PARRs) in Afghanistan.
UNHCR and UNDP are working together in Afghanistan as part of the UN’s overall response and will work within the framework of the Support Platform for Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) to address the needs of refugee returnees, displaced people, and host communities. UNDP provides key support in the areas of refugee and IDP returns via its Area-Based Approach for Development Emergency Initiatives (ABADEI) scheme.
Electricity supplies are virtually non-existent in the remote villages in the earthquake-affected region, and most households lack any lighting, with no night-time street lighting in the various hamlets.
The Support Platform for the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) provides coordinated support in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, for refugees, returnees, internally displaced people, and host communities. ABADEI is a UNDP-led, local economic recovery strategy with a focus to help revitalize the local markets and communities with women entrepreneurs as one of its main driving forces.
“UNHCR is pleased for this partnership which will help address some critical needs of residents in the earthquake-affected areas of southeastern Afghanistan while also supporting some of the protection needs of women and girls,” said UNHCR Representative in Afghanistan Leonard Zulu. “This will also protect vulnerable families from the coming harsh winter conditions.”
“UNDP leads the preservation of hard-gained development achievements, respond to the development needs of the disadvantaged and disaster-struck region and complement humanitarian efforts in the country. Energy accessibility in the streets and homes will support a safer, secure and dignified living, particularly for persons who have long resided as refugees in neighbouring countries,” said UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Surayo Buzurukova.
UNDP has more than 50 years of experience in economic revival and supporting fragile livelihoods in Afghanistan. The UN Refugee Agency has been in Afghanistan for over four decades providing emergency assistance and support to displaced and returning Afghans.