Mercy Corps has received a $2 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide emergency support to drought and conflict-affected families in southern Afghanistan.
The grant funds will be used to deliver food, and non-food items such as blankets, jerry cans, stoves, heating/cooking fuel, sanitary supplies, and plastic sheeting, to 10,000 vulnerable families in the Helmand, Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces of southern Afghanistan. The grant will also enable Mercy Corps to meet the potable water needs of approximately 3,000 vulnerable families in these provinces.
Families in southern Afghanistan have been particularly affected by four years of unprecedented drought and military conflict. Due to the current conditions, many of these families have significantly reduced access to potable water and are in danger of having to migrate in search of water and other necessities.
The emergency relief project is designed to meet the short-term needs of the families for the next three months. It builds on Mercy Corps’ ongoing drought relief program in southern Afghanistan.
Mercy Corps’ health, agriculture and livestock programs continue in southern Afghanistan. Distribution of aid is also underway in Northern Alliance-controlled northern Afghanistan. Mercy Corps is assisting Afghan refugees who have recently arrived in Pakistan. Mercy Corps has operated development programs in the region since 1986, including food monetization, cash-for-food, agricultural support and livestock assistance programs.