The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Humanitarian hotline handles over 50,000 calls from Afghans in need of assistance
Awaaz Afghanistan, the country’s first nationwide inter-agency humanitarian call centre, offers a single point of contact for all Afghans – including returnees and those affected by conflict and natural disasters – to receive critical information about available assistance and support, as well as to register feedback and complaints about the response.
Since answering its first call in May 2018, the centre’s eight multi-lingual operators – four of whom are women – have handled over 50,000 calls. Twenty percent of callers seeking advice and assistance were female.
“Having handled over 50,000 calls in less than a year, it is a clear indication that many Afghans are in need of support and are searching for answers,” said Paul Cruickshank, UNOPS Director in Afghanistan. Adding: “Cases requiring attention are shared in a timely manner, helping the humanitarian response swiftly align its delivery to actual needs."
An estimated 6.3 million Afghans are currently in need of life-saving assistance. In an effort to respond to the humanitarian crisis, and enhance accountability and two-way communication in Afghanistan, the World Food Programme initiated and funded the call centre, identifying UNOPS as the implementing partner, jointly funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. UNOPS secured additional funding for the centre from the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund and the European Commission Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.
“Awaaz has drastically improved two-way communication in Afghanistan, the 50,000 calls in a few months are indicative of this. Moreover, we have seen it act as a catalyst to both discuss and strengthen collective accountability amongst agencies operating in the country, including for the protection against sexual exploitation and abuse.” – Zlatan Milisic, Country Director, World Food Programme Afghanistan.
For more information, visit awaazaf.org.