After recent heavy rains, the west side of Herat City experienced flooding where some Afghans lost their homes. After the flooding, community leaders came to AIL asking for support for the displaced people. The leaders told AIL that these people were suffering from a lack of food and housing.
Sixty-six families (approximately 370 people) affected by the flooding were each given a bag of rice which can feed a family for at least 20 days.
Last winter in Afghanistan, international aid organizations were not prepared for the number of Afghans that would be in need of food assistance because of the harsh winter to keep them from starving, so the Afghan Institute of Learning helped to fill this need. So far this winter has not been as harsh and it seems that international aid organizations have been much better prepared for winter and fewer people have been without any food at all. Currently, AIL staff is working to identify Afghans that are in desperate need of food supplies, and will begin delivering food to people in need during March and April.
In July, the AIL office in Herat distributed ten 25kg bags of rice and ten 3 liter bottles of cooking oil to ten very needy people that came to the office. Of the ten people that received food, two were disabled, four were widows and four were elderly and unwell. All of the recipients were members of very large families and due to their situation in life, unable to work to support their family.
Food in Afghanistan has more than tripled in price since last year due to a number of factors including an on-going drought and the cost of oil. Many poor families are on the verge of starvation and AIL has decided to expand its emergency food deliveries from winter time only, to a year round program.
Beginning in the winter of 2006, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) began providing food packets to very needy Afghans in Kabul and Herat. Thus far, over 1300 families have benefited from this assistance. This year 300 families received food and other assistance in Herat during the extremely harsh winter. AIL Herat also facilitated food assistance from the World Food Program to 418 poor individuals attending classes at four of AIL’s Herat centers.
The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has expanded its emergency relief program for poor Afghans because of the deteriorating situation for many Afghans. Begun to assist poor Afghans through the winter in Kabul, AIL expanded the program to Herat during the winter and in the Spring expanded it again to meet the needs of Afghans displaced by flooding and Afghans forced to return from Iran.
Following is feedback from recipients from the AIL coordinator in Herat about one delivery to needy families in April:
• AIL sub office Herat distributed food items to 38 widows, 20 orphans and 12 poor men of different areas of Herat city. The total beneficiaries of this aid were 568 people. The food items were a 25kg bag of rice and 3 liters of oil.
• One of the widows said," You can't imagine that how much this food ration will help me. For a long time we have not eaten good food because we are very poor and have very little income".
• A disabled man said," I am not only disabled, my other disaster is poverty. If I was ok, I could support my family and could have a normal life. I thank AIL that reaches the disabled and poor families. This food ration can help us for 15 days.”
The AIL Herat office has also entered into a contract with the World Food Program which is giving food assistance to poor women taking skills classes in three of AIL’s centers. Although there is a lot of administrative work, the assistance is very helpful to the women and their families.
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