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UMCOR Afghanistan Awarded Integrated Returns Grant

NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2005-UMCOR Afghanistan was awarded a second grant from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) to provide for the integrated return of refugees to Paktya and Khost Provinces. UMCOR is one of a handful of organizations operating in theses remote and insecure provinces. Integral to this grant is reconstructing 500 shelters for returnees. As the situation in Afghanistan stabilizes, more people are returning home to find that their former communities were completely wiped out by years of war. Their ability to return hinges on community reconstruction.

This is the second such grant UMCOR Afghanistan has received from BPRM assisting in 1,000 shelters. The first 500 shelters were completed in Paktya at the end of October 2005. UMCOR anticipates receiving a third award which will allow for construction of an additional 350 houses in Kabul and Wardak Provinces and winterization activities in the central and southeastern regions of Afghanistan. All The three programs provide permanent, earthquake resilient housing solutions for families. Beneficiaries receive shelter reconstruction assistance in the form of quality building materials such as cement, roofing materials, doors, and windows. This allows them to reconstruct their own living areas.

This self-help methodology empowers beneficiaries through active participations and engages them and the local authorities in their own process of return and reconstruction. Sanitation concerns are also addressed in these communities as latrine construction is included in the work.