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234 Toll Free Number Launched to Support Afghan Farmers and Maternal Health

234 Toll Free Number Launched to Support Afghan Farmers and Maternal Health

October 17th, 2017 (Kabul, Afghanistan) – The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in partnership with Roshan - Afghanistan’s leading telecommunications provider - has launched the 2-3-4 service extension, a toll-free number for Afghans to access vital information on health and agriculture on demand basis.

The 2-3-4 service is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), International Labor Organization (ILO), and implemented by Human Network International (HNI). The 2-3-4 service enables Afghan farmers to access vital information and educational content on key crops in Afghanistan. Moreover, it assists Afghan women to access important information on maternal health free of cost through the use of basic mobile technology through their Roshan phone.

The 2-3-4 Service operates as a free information center and search engine for Afghan women and farmers to proactively retrieve information they need by dialing 234 from their Roshan mobile phone from anywhere and at any time. The project aims to improve the well-being of more than 3 million Afghans in the next three years.

“With the recent security developments, it has become cumbersome for our extension works to reach farmers nationwide, therefore, MAIL brought the platform of 2-3-4 Service — an innovative mobile phone information service to prepare resource-poor farmers in rural Afghanistan to adopt relevant and up to date farming techniques. At a moment of need farmers across the country can use their simple mobile phones to proactively retrieve information across a range of topics and help them increase their agricultural produce.” Says Mr. Hamdullah Hamdard, Director General of Extension and Agriculture Development.

“At Roshan, we strongly believe in the power of mobile technology to improve lives. And since Roshan’s inception in 2003, we have always leveraged our robust network and technology to have a deep and positive impact, especially in rural communities across Afghanistan,” said Karim Khoja, CEO of Roshan.  "The launch of 234 service extension

projects is part of Roshan’s commitment to empower Afghans and enable them to access vital information to raise public awareness about health, agriculture and other key socio-economic indicators. We greatly value our partnership with the government of Afghanistan working closely with the private sector and international donors to positively transform communities."

About International Labour Organization (ILO) in Afghanistan

Afghanistan joined the ILO in 1934 and has so far ratified 19 ILO Conventions that includes five out of the 8 fundamental conventions. (C.100 – Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951; C. 105 – Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957; C. 111 – Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958; C. 138 – Minimum Working Age Convention, 1973; C. 182 – Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999)

 The ILO established its country office in Afghanistan in 2002

ILO works closely with its constituents in Afghanistan:

      • Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD)
      • Workers’ Organizations: National Union of Afghanistan Workers & Employees (NUAWE)
      • Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI)

What ILO works to achieve in Afghanistan

  • The ILO provides technical support to its constituents and other partners to promote Decent Work in the country
  • Promotes international Labour Standards and fundamental principles and rights at work through normative and policy support
  • Extending social protection – to ensure that all men and women have basic social and economic security.
  • Promoting social dialogue – strong and independent workers’ and employers' organizations are central to increasing productivity, avoiding disputes at work, and building cohesive societies.
  • Gender Equality – to eliminate discrimination in the world of work so women and men have access to the same rights and opportunities.