Responding to UN appeal, Japan pledges humanitarian aid for Afghanistan

8 August 2001

The Government of Japan has contributed more than $400,000 to improve basic living conditions of Afghans, with the money set to focus on community empowerment, water and sanitation, the Office of the United Nations Coordinator for Afghanistan announced today.

The Japanese contribution of $410,000 is earmarked for the Poverty Eradication and Community Empowerment (P.E.A.C.E) programme of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Afghanistan and came in response to a UN appeal for humanitarian aid.

Despite considerable progress in recent years to re-establish water supplies, inadequate stores of safe drinking water still remains a serious problem, particularly in drought affected areas where groundwater levels have dropped severely, the UN Coordinator said.

The goal of the water and sanitation service is to improve the health and quality of life of Afghans through access to safe drinking water facilities, community awareness of health, hygiene, and sanitation. Sustained and equal access to quality services will support refugee returns to Afghanistan as well, the UN Coordinator said.

Providing safe drinking water is also expected to cause a drastic reduction in the number of water-born diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery and gastroenteritis, thus lowering the morbidity and infant mortality rates in Afghanistan, which are amongst the highest in the world.

 

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