The United Nations WFP (World Food Program) has started to gear up on a food voucher campaign in cooperation with the Afghan government’s Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and the Disabled (otherwise known as MoLSAMD) in the capital city of Kabul. The project, according to the WFP’s announcement, will assist the poor to deal with 2012′s volatile food prices all over the world and in Afghanistan.
The WFP press release goes on to say that the organization,
“..will contribute US$3 million over a six-month period, which will enable food assistance through monthly cash vouchers to extremely vulnerable urban households in Kabul. In addition to office space and project supervisory staff, MoLSAMD will provide four locations to be used as voucher distribution centres at a total cost of about US$40,000.”
The project is expected to commence in mid January once preparations are complete.
According to the WFP, approximately 113,000 individuals, mostly women unable to fend for themselves and the disabled, will benefit much from the project. Similar projects have been successful so far in the region.
The press release continues:
“Each monthly voucher is worth 1,250 Afghanis, or about US$25, and can be exchanged for food items in selected local shops.
WFP Afghanistan has increased the use of cash vouchers in its food assistance programmes in areas where food is widely available on local markets. In addition to Kabul, WFP is currently implementing voucher projects in Mazar, Hirat and Jalalabad cities.
For poor families, the vouchers mean guaranteed access to food every month. Beyond that, the project also gives them the chance to choose which foods will best meet their families’ needs.
For local merchants, the vouchers are creating thousands of new customers, most of whom previously had difficulties affording to buy food in their shops.
Traditionally, most of WFP’s work in Afghanistan has been in highly food-insecure rural areas. The voucher project is part of an urban safety net programme aimed at helping the urban poor, who are particularly vulnerable to high food prices.”
Around October 2011, Afghanistan experienced an incredibly severe drought that affected 14 out of 34 provinces in the country.
More than 3 million people were in need of assistance that costed about US$142 million. Moreover, off-season rains produced floods that destroyed a large fraction of crops in some provinces including the province of Kandahar.
(Cover Photo: UNMultimedia.org)
- Article Written By: Yuri