After years of war in Afghanistan, there are an estimated one million handicapped people who are in need of assistance ranging from prosthetic devices to training. With a new, more democratically-oriented government in place, disabled Afghans across the country have been demanding acknowledgement of and support for their basic needs. After a recent demonstration in Kabul, the Afghan government agreed to raise a monthly stipend for disabled people from $2 to $5.
USAID is providing $53,000 to support the Ministry of Martyrs and the Disabled to conduct the provincial surveys documenting the numbers and types of disabled in Afghanistan. The survey will help the ministry develop assistance programs with nongovernmental organizations. USAID will fund the equipment and specially designed software for the Ministry’s six regional centers to conduct the survey and analyze the results. But the most critical need is a national strategic plan on how to assist Afghanistan’s disabled population– a plan that will be built based upon the results of the provincial surveys.
Since September 11, 2001, USAID has provided more than $30 million for healthcare programs in Afghanistan. This survey is just one example of a multitude of projects to show the people of Afghanistan that international collaboration by both government and non-governmental organizations is beginning to address the economic and social problems that years of war brought to the people of Afghanistan.