Jersey pledges £375,000 for Afghan Humanitarian Crisis
Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA) has committed £375,000 in response to the crisis in Afghanistan.
With almost half of Afghanistan’s population assessed as requiring humanitarian assistance, Jersey has pledged funds to three organisations to provide lifesaving support to those most in need. £150,000 is going to the UNHCR (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees), £125,000 to British NGO ‘Street Child’ and £100,000 to the British Red Cross.
Jersey’s Minister for International Development, Carolyn Labey, said “Following a detailed assessment by my experienced team at Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA), the JOA Commissioners have agreed a package of measures to help innocent Afghans affected by the current crisis. Through the UNHCR, the Red Cross, and Street Child, we will assist thousands of families forced to flee their homes, people in remote areas in need of food and healthcare, and vulnerable children, including 7,500 girls in two provinces.”
Jersey’s contribution to the UNHCR will assist the organisation in delivering an emergency response that meets the immediate needs of up to 600,000 newly-displaced people in Afghanistan and helps prepare neighbouring countries (Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) for any influx of additional refugees. Assistance will include tents and emergency shelters, medical supplies, safe drinking water and sanitary facilities.
Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, UNHCR’s UK Representative, said “Jersey’s generous donation to UNHCR’s Afghanistan Appeal is timely and greatly appreciated. These funds are urgently needed and will help provide more life-saving humanitarian support to the many Afghans uprooted inside the country – almost 600,000 have been displaced this year alone – as well as refugees in neighbouring countries. They have already suffered huge upheavals and face more uncertainty and a gruelling winter ahead.”
Street Child will use Jersey’s funding to help provide emergency support for 15,000 vulnerable children in two Afghan provinces (Baghlan and Bamyan) with the highest proportion of displaced persons caused by the ongoing conflict. Notably, Jersey’s aid will help to protect and educate around 7,500 girls who are at extreme risk of violence, exploitation and early marriage.
Recognised for its neutrality, impartiality and independence, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement has a vast network of local volunteers and over thirty years’ experience in navigating the complexities of working in Afghanistan. Jersey’s support will enable it to provide health care, food and other life-saving aid in even remote areas of the country.
Deputy Carolyn Labey added “Jersey is playing its part alongside larger countries in the international effort to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe from unfolding in Afghanistan”.
(In accordance with OECD rules about what constitutes overseas aid (Official Development Assistance), JOA’s budget must be spent in low or middle-income countries. Assistance for wealthier countries – including in the resettlement of refugees – is beyond JOA’s remit).