In Afghanistan, widespread vulnerability to poverty, natural hazards and protracted conflict fuel instability and hinder development and economic growth. To help address this, Australian support aims to strengthen rural populations' access to economic opportunities and to protect their livelihoods against shocks.
Support is delivered through targeted bilateral programming, including through the Australia Afghanistan Community Resilience Scheme, in partnership with Australian and international NGOs, and funding to the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. Through our support to the World Bank Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, we are also providing on-budget funding for the Afghan Government's national agriculture, rural development and rural infrastructure projects.
Australia is also helping to meet the immediate, life-saving needs of vulnerable populations affected by conflict and natural disasters by continuing to provide flexible, responsive and coordinated humanitarian assistance across the country. Our humanitarian activities focus on improving food security through the World Food Programme and supporting rapid responses to the most critical needs through the United Nations Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund.
Australia Afghanistan Community Resilience Scheme (AACRS)
Up to $25 million, 2014-2020
The AACRS brings together five international NGOs and the Afghan Government in a partnership that aims to improve the livelihoods and resilience of rural communities in eight provinces. AACRS partners promote improved agricultural practices, build more responsive and inclusive institutions, and support market linkages. The program has a focus on women and marginalized communities. Our partner NGOs are Action Aid Australia, the Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan, CARE Australia, Oxfam Australia and World Vision Australia.
Addressing Food Insecurity and Undernutrition in Afghanistan
$24 million, 2018-2020
Through a flexible, multi-year agreement with the World Food Program, Australia is providing emergency and relief food assistance to populations affected by conflict and natural disasters and contributing to WFPs Country Strategic Plan. Interventions focus on bridging humanitarian and development assistance to support efforts for peace and stability, attempting to reduce hunger and the resulting desperation that can further fuel tensions and conflict. Gender equality, protection and accountability to affected populations are crosscutting and Household Targeting and Vulnerability Criteria include specific focus on people with disability, women and children.
Supporting High Priority Humanitarian Needs in Afghanistan
$9 million, 2018-2020
The United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs-administered Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF) is a multi-donor funding mechanism that allows timely, efficient and coordinated responses to high-priority humanitarian needs in the country. Australia is a major contributor to the Fund and served as a member of the AHF Advisory Board 2014-2017. In 2017, the AHF provided critical health, nutrition and protection assistance to 1.47 million beneficiaries, sixty-nine percent of whom were women and children.
$6 million 2018-2020
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) utilise mobile health teams to deliver Sexual and Reproductive Health, family planning and Gender Based Violence support in areas of high return and conflict displacement. The pilot program exceeded target numbers (118 per cent of the target) and have successfully scaled up operations and expand these activities and strengthen the focus on Afghan youth, noting the significant youth bulge.
Agricultural Research for Development
$17.7 million, 2012-18
In partnership with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), we are working to improve the quality and availability of grain varieties and livestock food resources, and promote watershed development, thereby improving food security and smallholder productivity in water restricted areas.