Switzerland aids UNs longterm development efforts in warstricken Afghanistan

The 3.6 million Swiss francs donated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation will fund the second phase of a UN Development Programme project known by its acronym PEACE (Poverty Elimination and Community Empowerment Programme). The Islamabad-based Office of the UN Coordinator for Afghanistan called the commitment “a significant shift from emergency relief to longer-term assistance.” The PEACE II project will work to foster stability in Afghanistan by improving local governance, empowering civil society and alleviating poverty. Operating in at least 23 rural districts and six urban centres in Afghanistan, it will provide assistance in the areas of food security, sustainable livelihoods, basic social services and the reintegration of refugees and displaced persons. Participating agencies include the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and the UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat). The first phase of the project, which ran from 1997 to 2000, achieved a number of key long-term development objectives, including the setting up of over 900 community-based organizations in Afghan villages. read more