Kabul, 2 December 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) welcomes the announcement of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to contribute a US$ 11.2 million (SEK101.5 million) grant for UN’s development emergency initiative ‘ABADEI’ which is part of a crisis response to the looming local development catastrophe in Afghanistan.
“We thank Sweden for their strategic contribution to supporting directly the people of Afghanistan at the time of the unprecedented humanitarian and socio-economic crisis,” said UNDP Resident Representative in Afghanistan Abdallah Al Dardari. “With this generous contribution, we will be able to directly support the basic human needs of some of the most vulnerable people and inject urgently needed emergency resources into local economies.”
“A socio-economic collapse in Afghanistan would trigger extensive human suffering, which could have a negative effect on the entire region with refugee exodus and a deteriorating security situation,” said Maria Lundberg, head of the Afghanistan unit at Sida.
UNDP recently released the “Socio-Economic Outlook for Afghanistan 2021-2022” which projects that the country’s nominal GDP is likely to contract by 20 percent within a year, from US$20 billion in 2020 to a figure of US$16 billion. The report warns that this decline may reach 30 percent in following years, or US$14 billion, if urgent corrective action is not taken.
Annual per capita income had declined from US$650 in 2012 to US$500 in 2020, and is expected to drop precipitously to US$350 next year, according to the report.
The funding from the Government of Sweden will contribute to implementing UN’s new ABADEI initiative, which is designed to respond to the unprecedented humanitarian and basic human needs catastrophe as well as set the foundations for long-term development interventions in support of basic human needs.
‘ABADEI,’ which connotes community resilience, will see 13 UN agencies, including UNDP, and non-governmental organizations supporting community-level solutions to complement ongoing humanitarian interventions
ABADEI activities, such as cash-for-work and cash-for-business, have already created jobs for over 2,300 people with these incomes supporting vulnerable households in Mazar, Kunduz, Jalalabad and Herat. These emergency employment schemes are rapidly expanding to support basic human needs in Badghis, Farah and other provinces as well.
An economic rapid appraisal released by UNDP in September projected that up to 97 percent of the population may be at risk of sinking below the poverty line by next year, unless a response to the country’s political and economic crises is urgently launched.
“We call on other donors to step in as soon as possible and help prevent the total meltdown of the Afghan local economy and the vital systems that can provide support to basic human needs,” added Abdallah Al Dardari.
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