Six Top News Stories from the Afghan-German Cooperation
Over the last few weeks, the Afghan-German Cooperation has been busy. This is what the projects have been up to:
Fully Equipped – Thousands of Police Officers Receive Hygiene Kits
The Afghan-German Cooperation handed over thousands of materials to the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to support their fight against COVID-19 in all parts of Afghanistan.
The materials include around 6,700 hygiene kits containing masks, soap and gloves, 161,000 awareness brochures in Dari and Pashto on how to tackle the coronavirus, and 4,500 awareness-raising posters in Dari and Pashto on virus prevention.
Deputy German ambassador Christoph Peleikis handed the items to Lieutenant General Abdul Jabar Purdily, Deputy Minister in Education and Personnel Affairs at MoI. General Purdily expressed his gratitude for the continuous support of the Afghan-German Cooperation.
The distribution of hygiene kits, brochures and posters is taking place at police headquarters and units in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. These materials will supply thousands of Afghan police officers around the country, so they can protect themselves against the virus and continue to carry out their duties in a professional manner.
Kabul: Young Afghans Raise Awareness About COVID-19 for Internally Displaced Persons
The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 has put many people at risk, in particular refugees. Thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan don’t have access to healthcare services or information on disease prevention.
A team of 12 young men and women is helping to tackle these issues.
Kabul Equal is a team where young Afghans create their own peace-building initiatives. In March and April, they have helped to raise awareness for the population and for people in IDP camps on how to sanitize, disinfect and protect themselves from coronavirus. So far, they have hung up almost 20,000 awareness-raising posters and have disinfected over 1,000 houses, 4,000 cars and 2,500 shops.
The Kabul Equal team was created by a former participant of the Afghan-German Cooperation’s Civil Peace Service life skills and leadership training. This training gives young Afghan men and women a voice in society and it gives them the prospective to become role models for positive change in their community.
Herat: Raising Awareness About COVID-19 Among Internally Displaced Persons
On 8 April, the Afghan-German Cooperation’s Integration of Internally Displaced People in Afghanistan (IDPP) project, together with Afghan organisation Union Aid, began an awareness campaign for coronavirus for Internally Displaced Persons in Herat.
Because of its proximity to Iran, Herat has a higher number of coronavirus cases that the rest of the country. To contain the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, Union Aid put up the first 72 of 1,000 posters. In their next step, hygiene kits will be distributed to 1,000 households.
Restoring the Landscape One Tree at a Time
Spring is tree planting time in Afghanistan. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) project has planted over 200,000 saplings in Badakhshan, Khost and Paktia Provinces.
Female and male villagers, forest management associations and local authorities have come together to plan and make this happen. Each village has formed a forest management association, comprising 10 members, of which four are women. These associations decide on the selection of trees to be planted and the management of plantations.
Villagers are planting both fruit and non-fruit trees. Fruit and nut trees bear fruit in four to five years. Other trees and shrubs, such as willows, poplars, and pine trees, will grow several metres in the same time.
Planting will be continued in spring and autumn over the next three years. The aim is to restore 3,000 ha of forest landscapes in five provinces and 50 villages.
So far, 700 villagers, of which 45% were women, have been trained in the different technical aspects of forest management. Furthermore, 61 nurseries have been established, 48 of them by women. The nurseries grow saplings for afforestation and to provide income for the local families.
Measures like these are needed, as the population is suffering from degraded natural resources with less than 2% natural forest coverage. Floods, landslides and droughts occur more frequently in landscapes without trees and shrubs, threatening the lives of rural populations. Climate change further exacerbates these problems.
The Water Sector Goes Digital
The Water Sector Improvement Programme (WSIP) had its last physical workshop in January.
Since then, training sessions have been held via digital platforms. These are used to train staff in the area of water resources management and planning. They receive teaching materials such as manuals, presentations and videos as well as homework. Students can easily communicate with each other and their coaches.
Carrying out fieldwork and practical vocational training for water technicians during Coronavirus is difficult. However, operations continue. The emphasis is now on developing training materials together with partner organisations. It is crucial that the groundwater, financial, water customer and infrastructure data is handled as usual. For this to be effective, continuous support is required, specifically for on-the-job training and the joint development of tools like databases.
COVID-19 Taskforce Ensures Continuity in Project Implementation
The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Sustainable Economic Development and Employment Promotion (SEDEP) programme has created an internal COVID-19 Taskforce. The Taskforce is in place to analyse the current situation, identify the actions needed to ensure a smooth implementation of its project, strengthen its partners, and ensure the delivery of results despite the recent changes.