For this priority, Canada’s 2011 objective is for humanitarian assistance to be accessible to the most vulnerable people, including Afghan refugees, and to returnees and internally displaced persons in Kandahar and nationwide.
An Afghan widow and mother of nine tells a
Jalalabad shopkeeper what she wants to buy
with her World Food Programme voucher.
In this quarter, Canada achieved its target to support the delivery of food assistance to Afghans in need, through a partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP). More than 6.5 million people were fed by the WFP in 2010, primarily in rural and remote areas where food availability is limited.
Whenever it rains, there’s no work. Then all we can afford to eat is bread and tea. I’m really happy now. I can go into the shop and they’ll give me what I want! – Ghulam Rasool, day labourer, Nangarhar province.
The WFP also partnered with the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority to expand a new model for food assistance to the main cities through which beneficiaries will receive food vouchers instead of rations. Local shopkeepers also benefit from the use of these vouchers, which generates local commerce. Day labourer Ghulam Rasool from Nangarhar province, for example, struggles to feed his family of 12. “Whenever it rains, there’s no work. Then all we can afford to eat is bread and tea. I’m really happy now. I can go into the shop and they’ll give me what I want!”
Canada’s signature project for the eradication of polio in Afghanistan continued to advance in this quarter. The January to February 2011 immunization campaign in the south saw 1.26 million children receive vaccinations (from a target of 1.33 million), including 387,000 in Kandahar province.
During the January-February campaign, additional efforts were made to reach children outside of their homes, through the use of roaming vaccination teams at check posts, bus stations and markets. The National Immunization Day campaign in March targeted more than 1.33 million children, including over 416,000 in Kandahar. To maximize the health benefits of the polio campaign in this quarter, children were also given deworming tablets along with the oral polio vaccine. So far in 2011, only one new case of polio has been reported in Afghanistan, down from eight cases in the same quarter in 2010. Twenty-five cases of polio were reported in 2010, down from the 38 cases reported in 2009.
Because of my apathy, one of my children had a polio affected handicap in Peshawar, and ultimately died. I will never repeat my bitter and unforgettable mistake and advise others to get their children vaccinated against the contagious disease. – Jan Agha, Paktya province.
Immunization campaigns require the efforts of thousands of health providers and volunteers; more than 20,000 people contributed to the success of the first round of the 2011 Sub-National Immunization Days, conducted this quarter— including 260 district coordinators, over 1,500 cluster supervisors, 17,700 volunteer vaccinators, 690 monitors and more than 1,500 community mobilizers (often religious leaders, teachers and community health workers). As Jan Agha from Paktya province stated, the impact of immunization campaigns is clear: “Because of my apathy, one of my children had a polio-affected handicap in Peshawar, and ultimately died. I will never repeat my bitter and unforgettable mistake and advise others to get their children vaccinated against the contagious disease.”
Canada’s contribution to mine action also continued in this quarter, with support to the Mine Action Program of Afghanistan. As of March 2011, 657 square kilometres of land had been released and over 590,000 individuals had received mine risk education, surpassing both of Canada’s targets. Thanks in part to Canada’s support, mine risk education is now taught by 16,000 trained teachers throughout Afghanistan.
These children are returnees to Afghanistan
from Pakistan. The village where they are now
living was once contaminated by mines, but now
that it has been cleared they are free to settle
and develop their community.
The Mine Action Program of Afghanistan includes community-based de-mining projects designed by Afghan partners in close collaboration with community shuras and CDCs. Apart from the important work of mine clearing, these projects provide an economic boost to small rural communities through wages and by enabling land development once cleared
 World Food Programme, With new food vouchers Afghan poor get to choose http://www.wfp.org/stories/wfp-food-vouchers-afghan-poor-choose