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    EU provides €47m to Afghan health sector

    KABUL (PAN): The European Union on Thursday pledged €47 million to Afghanistan's health sector to ensure the delivery of basic services in 10 provinces and improving hospital conditions in another six provinces.

    Deputy Minister of Public Health Dr. Abdul Baseer Sarwar and European Union Delegation Chargé d'Affaires Luc Vandebon made the announcement at a joint press conference in Kabul.

    The EU support over the next 19 months is aimed at capacity development of the ministry at the central and provincial level to improve sector stewardship.

    It is also aimed at extending harmonised support for quality healthcare service delivery in Zabul, Uruzgan, Daikundi, Nuristan, Ghor, Kunduz, Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar and Logar provinces.

    The officials said the EU support covered all healthcare service provision costs, including staff salaries, equipment, medicine, rehabilitation, constructions and running expenditure. 

    Under the existing grants, the number of health facilities will increase from 334 to 389, including the upgrading of Logar district hospital to provincial hospital and the construction of three new health facilities in Daikundi.

    "Since 2001, the EU has provided a total of €216 million in support of the health sector, including health policy & administration management, infectious disease control and healthcare," said Luc Vandebon.

    Healthcare conditions in Afghanistan were far from optimal, he said, hoping the coming years would see improved access to better health services, particularly for women and children.