The World Bank Board of Executive Directors on Tuesday approved a grant from the International Development Association (IDA) of $97.50 million to provide regular and predictable cash support to Afghans affected by droughts and COVID-19 and improve food and nutrition security.
The World Bank in a press release said that the grant will help build Afghanistan’s drought early warning and response systems.
According to the press release, the project will complement regular humanitarian relief efforts and provide unconditional cash support and cash-for-work benefits to about 2.2 million Afghans in the 78 districts most affected by food insecurity and drought.
“The project will provide regular targeted financial assistance to households to build resilience and scale up support across the country before and during droughts. It will also support the Government of Afghanistan to deliver critical weather, water, and climate information services, disseminate early warnings, and strengthen disaster preparedness within communities.”
“Afghanistan is one of the countries most affected and vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, and its weak response system has further contributed to this vulnerability,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. “This new financial assistance will help the Government of Afghanistan lessen drought impacts that have displaced millions of Afghans and pushed them into poverty. The project’s support to Afghan rural households will contribute to overall poverty reduction and economic recovery.”
In line with the World Bank Group’s institutional strategy on Fragility, Conflict, and Violence, the investments outlined in this project will seek to mitigate drivers of fragility by addressing some of its root causes and it will seek to strengthen the institutions necessary to transition the country out of fragility.