IRC's activities Latest Edit : 01/17/16
Brief Report of International Rescue Committee: 2015 Afghanistan Fact Sheet
The IRC has been supporting the Afghan people in their fight against displacement and poverty for the last three decades. During the Soviet occupation of 1980-1989, the IRC operated out of Pakistan assisting large numbers of refugees. Then in 1998,
the IRC officially began operations inside Afghanistan through a wide range of humanitarian and development programming to assist people affected by conflict, natural disaster, and poverty, including displaced people and returnees. The IRC is currently operational in nine provinces. The IRC has 664 staff of which 99 percent are Afghan nationals.
The primary drivers of human suffering in Afghanistan are the effect of escalating insurgencies, tribal disputes over natural resources, shelling at border areas, repeated cycles of natural disasters, lack of basic services, financial mismanagement and absence of adequate basic human rights protection mechanisms. Despite significant international aid, Afghanistan remains one of the least developed countries in the world, with a Human Development Index of 169 out of 187. More than a third of Afghans live below the poverty line, with high rates of unemployment and a population that is one of the youngest in the world, with 46.6 per cent under 14 years old. In addition to an internally displaced population of 700,000 people, Afghanistan also has the largest population of refugee returnees in the world—5.7 million people— with many more to come from neighboring Pakistan and Iran.
2014 has witnessed major changes due to the political and military transitions, including a newly elected government (2015 – 2019), which has inherited a state that is running out of financial resources and losing ground to a rising insurgency in the provinces. These transitions are likely to bring a new environment for Afghans as well as challenges to the Government to bring stability, peace and economic growth.
IRC Programs in Afghanistan
The program support communities affected by conflict or natural disasters. Since July 2010, the IRC assisted more than 30,593 families (or approximately 214,706 beneficiaries) in eight provinces through provision of shelter, non-food items, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
During 2014, in Khost province, the IRC provided emergency relief to 4,800 Pakistani refugee families (approximately 40,716 individuals) who fled their country during the military operation carried out by the Pakistan military in the North Waziristan Agency. Additionally, by 2015, the IRC supported more than 14,128 extremely food insecure households with provision of food vouchers which enabled them to get access to an adequate level of food commodities. By the end of 2015, the IRC helped 3,350 households across five provinces with access to potable drinking water following cholera outbreaks. Community Driven Reconstruction:
The IRC works in partnership with approximately 3,700 communities across Afghanistan as they identify, plan, and manage their own development projects. These include roads, culverts, schools, community meetings halls, irrigation, water supplies, mini-hydro power projects, literacy, and vocational training programs. These activities are part of the Afghan-owed National Solidarity Program (NSP), funded by the World Bank, of which IRC is a Facilitating Partner to the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. Since 2003, IRC helped establish 3,700 locally elected Community Development Councils that have led nearly 5,500 projects reaching 4.8 million people with a total budget of US$ 139 million. While issues related to security and community accountability have occasionally affected smooth implementation, overall the program is an important success in terms of community ownership and rural development. Education:
As a follow-up of the PACE-A project that provided education to 72,198 girls from 2006 to 2011, in March 2012, the IRC began implementation of the Basic Education for Afghanistan Consortium (BEACON), comprising 4 implementing partners of which the IRC is the lead. BEACON provides community based education (CBE) to 12 provinces to children, especially girls, living in remote areas far away from formal public schools, who wouldn’t have access to an education otherwise. The IRC is implementing several other CBE projects in different parts of the country, among which Helmand, Paktya, Laghman and Nangarhar, reaching a total of 7,130 students of which 64% are girls. The CBE program have proven to be a success and a way to bring education to children and young people from remote communities that would not have any educational opportunity otherwise.
Afghanistan is one of the most difficult countries in which to reach people in need. Ongoing fighting between the government and armed opposition groups and poor infrastructure makes it very difficult and sometimes impossible to reach vulnerable communities. To mitigate these factors, the IRC works closely with communities, operates rigorous remote management processes to ensure reaching as many people as possible as safely as possible. The IRC is one of only a few agencies operating in Badghis and Helmand provinces as well as in some high insecure districts in other provinces in the country.
200 farmers each received 50 Kg high yield wheat seeds, 50 Kg DAP and 50 Kg UREA in late October 2015 in Behsud, Khewa and Kama Districts of Nanagarhar Province under the Eurpeaid funded Project. The wheat seeds were tested by MAIL and were purchased from the MAIL certified suppliers.