Health and Livelihoods
The health and livelihoods sub-programme aims to address the needs of drug affected communities, such as poppy growers and their families, drug using population and vulnerable groups like injecting drug users and population in closed settings.
The drug use problem in Afghanistan appear to be fuelled and sustained by both the production of drugs and large-scale cultivation, and difficult socio-economic conditions (extreme poverty, lack of basic services, lack of rule of law). The objective of this sub-programme is, therefore to address this inter linked problem in the following manner:
The major objective of the interventions in the area of health, as the interconnected problem, is to provide evidence based prevention and treatment for illicit drug use, drug dependence, drug-related diseases such as HIV/AIDS. The health programme additionally focuses on marginalized groups, like homeless population, mobile population - returnees and refugees, women and children; thereby incorporating the humanitarian intervention in the response.
The major objective of interventions in the area of livelihoods is to provide alternative sustainable livelihoods to farming families in order to prevent them from being dependent on illicit crop cultivation. The principal desired outcome of this approach is the cessation of illicit drug crop cultivation through the creation of alternative income.
The Alternative Livelihoods aims to implement multifaceted community-based alternative livelihoods demonstration projects with an active community-led Counter-Narcotics (CN) element. This involves the support for the Ministry of Counter Narcotics strategy to expand the Food Zone concept in four provinces, the expansion and extension of the successful land stabilization programme in the Western provinces, the development of an agricultural value-added training centre in Herat with subsidiary centres in other provinces, and support for small scale innovative AL concepts identified by the programme steering committee.
It also aims to strengthen the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's capacity on alternative livelihoods policy development, project planning and monitoring. This involves ongoing training, mentoring and regional exposure visits for MCN and other stakeholders with a view to building AL capacity within Government and building regional linkages on AL.
Finally it will also improve coordination of AL-related work between government and non-government stakeholders. This involves support for improving coordination between MCN, other government ministries such as Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, and Ministry of Women's Affairs through workshops and seminars, and the development of a joint monitoring and impact evaluation mechanism to hone and improve joint AL activities in the country.