The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
United Nations opens humanitarian call centre in Afghanistan
The new call centre will ensure Afghans around the country can voice their issues and receive critical information in times of need.
Awaaz Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s first nationwide humanitarian call centre, was officially inaugurated this week in Kabul.
A joint initiative between multiple UN agencies and partners, the UNOPS-implemented call centre offers a single point of contact for Afghans affected by conflict and natural disasters to receive critical information about assistance and support. Callers can also provide feedback on the humanitarian response and assistance they receive.
Today’s launch marks a milestone: UN agencies are here to listen to the people of Afghanistan, who can now reach us, day or night, with feedback or questions about our response to natural disasters or conflict.
Supporting the Government of Afghanistan with its national reconstruction and development efforts since 1995.
“Together, agencies will work to get the best answers and the best response to people, on time,” he added.
By dialling a toll-free number, any person in Afghanistan with access to a phone can speak with one of Awaaz Afghanistan’s eight multilingual operators – four of whom are women – who can provide callers with information they need to withstand a crisis. The name of the centre derives from the Dari and Pashto word for ‘voice’ – ‘awaaz.’
To enhance transparency and two-way communication in Afghanistan, the World Food Programme initiated the call centre, identifying UNOPS as the implementing partner. UNOPS secured additional funding for the centre from the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
“Awaaz Afghanistan uses traditional and new technologies to amplify the voice of Afghans, and to help identify issues and find solutions,” said Paul Cruickshank, UNOPS Director and Representative in Afghanistan.
“The simple act of asking a question can tell us a great deal about the needs in an area . . . Information is assistance,” he added.
Call centre operators have handled more than 14,000 calls from Afghans from across the country since the pilot phase of the project commenced in May this year.
To learn more about Awaaz Afghanistan and to see its interactive dashboard, please visit: www.awaazaf.org.