Gates Foundation Provides IRC with Grant for Drought Relief in Afghanistan
The IRC will focus on improving the water supply in drought-devastated communities, helping returnees reestablish their livelihood and developing local capacity to respond to future natural disasters. The IRC will work with local groups to implement projects that include drilling and improving wells, constructing and repairing irrigation systems and distributing farming supplies.
“Our projects aim to motivate displaced families to leave temporary refugee settlements near Herat and return to their home villages,” said Sigurd Hanson, director of the IRC’s programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “If we invest in sustainable solutions within communities, we’ll be able to avert humanitarian catastrophes for decades to come.” In the Herat area, IRC teams have been providing food and emergency supplies and constructing sanitation facilities. The IRC also operates agriculture, water supply, education and microcredit programs for Afghan refugees returning from Pakistan and Iran.
The drought has forced many residents of the devastated areas to leave their communities to find food, water, and employment opportunities. Once displaced, families face extreme scarcities of food, medicine, and shelter.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to improving people's lives by sharing advances in health and learning with the global community. Led by Bill Gates’ father, William H. Gates, Sr., and Patty Stonesifer, the Seattle-based foundation has an asset base of $23.5 billion.