EU gives $17 million to improve mental health, drug use disorder services



The European Union has allocated €16 million ($17 million) towards increasing access of vulnerable populations in Afghanistan to mental health and drug use disorder services.

To address drug use and its related disorders in Afghanistan, World Health Organization (WHO) will increase Afghans’ access to integrated, qualitative, and comprehensive drug use disorder and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services, the organization said in a statement.

“Drug use disorders need to be considered primarily as health problems rather than criminal behaviors. The EU funding will enable us to provide an effective and integrated drug treatment programme that focuses on the physical, mental, social, psychological, and economic well-being of vulnerable populations,” says Dr Luo Dapeng, WHO Representative in Afghanistan.

Raffaella Iodice, EU Chargée d’Affaires and Deputy Head of Delegation to Afghanistan said: “The EU remains deeply committed to supporting the Afghan people. Too many persons in Afghanistan suffer from mental health disorders after years of conflict and political changes. Improving the health and well-being of the people of Afghanistan jointly with WHO and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is to address immediate needs of people and represents concrete steps towards achieving universal health coverage”.

The EU’s assistance to Afghanistan addresses notably the most vulnerable segments of the population, including women, girls, minorities, internally displaced persons and refugees. EU aid is channeled through United Nations agencies or nongovernmental organizations, WHO stated.—Ariana news