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EU allocates nearly $150m to help Afghan people, focusing on women, girls

September 20, 2023 at 7:20 pm

Afghan female students chant “Education is our right, genocide is a crime” during a protest as they march from the University of Herat toward to the provincial governor office in Herat on October 2,2022 [MOHSEN KARIMI/AFP via Getty Images]

The EU announced, Wednesday, that it will release €140 million (nearly $150 million) in aid for education, healthcare, agriculture and women’s economic advancement in Afghanistan, Anadolu Agency reports.

The funds had been frozen in December 2022 due to the interim Taliban administration’s ban on women working in non-governmental organisations, the bloc said in a statement.

It added that the decision to release the funds was based on six months of monitoring and assessment of the “for women by women” principle, which ensures Afghan women and girls participate in all aspects of the aid delivery process.

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The funds will continue to be directed through UN agencies, international NGOs and the World Bank, which all work on the ground, according to the statement.

The support will also strengthen women’s economic empowerment by enhancing their skills development, facilitating access to finance and market opportunities, improving their economic resilience and supporting small enterprises led by women, it said.

“We know how difficult it has been to navigate the increasingly severe situation in Afghanistan. Yet, over the last six months, the international community has found a way to deliver desperately needed support to women, girls and other vulnerable groups,” said Jutta Urpilainen, the Commissioner for International Partnerships, in the statement.

Urpilainen underscored that the support offers livelihood solutions for millions, while not recognising the Taliban de facto administration.

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