The 2009 Humanitarian Action Plan for Afghanistan, submitted by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), includes an appeal from over 20 NGOs for US$ 18.6 million (compared to US$ 15.4 million in 2008) in funding for water and sanitation projects. The largest is the Provision of Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project submitted by UNICEF for which US$ 7.3 million is requested to serve 1 million people in 15 drought-affected provinces. Other agencies that submitted projects include the BRAC Foundation, Oxfam GB, World Vision, DACAAR, World Vision International, Save the Children UK, Agency for Rehabilitation and Energy-Conservation in Afghanistan (AREA), Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), and People in Need (PIN).
2005 estimates indicate that only 23% of the entire population has access to safe drinking water and only 12% has access to sanitation facilities. More than 1,150,000 people, in areas affected by drought are at high risk from unsafe drinking water. It is likely that drought will continue for the coming years and will remain as a serious problem for the WASH cluster, led by UNICEF and DACAAR, in 2009
The WASH cluster has identified a number of priority areas for 2009, which include focusing WASH activities on drought-affected areas, reducing water-related diseases, capacity building and education, sector coordination, sustainability and operation & maintenance. In particular the WASH cluster intends to capture experience from a pilot project on sanitation and hygiene, and use it to scale-up suitable latrine designs and behavioural change communications.
Read the 2009 Humanitarian Action Plan for Afghanistan here
Read the OCHA press release of 15 Jan 2009 on the plan here