UN sets up special trust fund for Afghanistan amid cash shortages

UN sets up special trust fund for Afghanistan amid cash shortages

Geneva (Agencies): The United Nations (UN) on Thursday stated that it has set up a special trust fund to provide urgently needed cash directly to Afghans through a systematic mechanism.

The aim of setting up the fund is to inject liquidity into Afghan households to permit them to survive this winter and remain in their homeland.

Addressing a news conference in Geneva, the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) administrator Achim Steiner, said Germany, as a first contributor, has pledged 50 million euros ($58 million) to the fund, and that it was in touch with other donors to mobilise resources.

According to UNDP, Some 97% of Afghan households could be living below the poverty line by mid-2022.

“We have to step in, we have to stabilise a ‘people’s economy’ and in addition to saving lives we also have to save livelihoods,” Steiner told a news briefing.

“Because otherwise we will confront indeed a scenario through this winter and into next year where millions and millions of Afghans are simply unable to stay on their land, in their homes, in their villages and survive,” he said.

Kanni Wignaraja, director of UNDP’s regional bureau for the Asia Pacific, said that cash would be provided to Afghan workers in public works programmes, such as drought and flood control programmes, and grants given to micro-enterprises.

Temporary basic income would be paid to the vulnerable elderly and disabled, she said.

The UNDP had costed activities to be covered over the first 12 months at approximately $667 million, she said.