Support conflict affected families in Afghanistan

by Afghanaid
Support conflict affected families in Afghanistan
Support conflict affected families in Afghanistan
Support conflict affected families in Afghanistan
Support conflict affected families in Afghanistan
Support conflict affected families in Afghanistan
Support conflict affected families in Afghanistan
Sayed and his daughter
Sayed and his daughter

Sayed and his wife live with their five children in Badakhshan - a mountainous region in northeastern Afghanistan. Whilst beautiful, in the most remote districts of Badakhshan, winter is the most difficult time of year. This winter proved even tougher than previous, with the cost of food and essentials skyrocketing, and many humanitarian organisations forced to halt their programmes since the events of August 2021. For many families here, much-needed support is in short supply.

Whilst life is tough in these areas, in the past Sayed’s family has managed to get by. Their home, which Sayed built himself, protects them from the worst of the winter storms. However in 2021, the harsh winter conditions meant that Sayed, alongside many others who survive by finding daily work on other people’s land, was left without a source of income. As a result, the family was pushed into an increasingly difficult situation.

Our team in Badakhshan supported Sayed’s family through the winter and we recently caught up with him to see how they are getting on. “During the winter we are always jobless because it is in the summer that people need workers,” Sayed told us. “Last year we didn’t have anything to eat, and couldn’t afford what my children needed for their education. We really didn't have anything.”

Undeterred by difficult conditions or treacherous journeys, Afghanaid ensures that even the most remote villages receive emergency assistance when they need it most. When our team reached Sayed’s village, his family was identified as one in need of support, and they quickly received the necessities required to get through the winter, including fuel, rice, cooking utensils such as pots and pans and blankets. 

“Before Afghanaid came here our situation was very bad. If we had not received this assistance, we would have travelled to Iran or some other country to look for work. Thanks to Afghanaid we were able to stay in our home.”

Whilst summer often means greater access to work for labourers like Sayed, demand for job opportunities is currently higher than ever, which complicates his search for an income. Sometimes I will find work in this village and sometimes I go to the centre of the province”, Sayed told us. He is willing to travel wherever it takes to ensure he can support his family: “Wherever I can find work, I will go.”

Whilst Sayed and his family are no longer in need of emergency assistance, there are still complex, long-term difficulties facing rural families like theirs, which they need support navigating. Extreme food shortages are still ongoing, disasters such as droughts and floods are increasing in severity and frequency, and the repercussions of the economic collapse are still playing out across the country. 

Families like Sayed’s need sustained support to ensure their future is guaranteed. With your help, we can work with communities to strengthen livelihoods, making sure that families can rely on a stable income and have access to secure food sources.

Sayed and his children outside their home
Sayed and his children outside their home
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Abdul-Alim and his children
Abdul-Alim and his children

Abdul-Alim* lives in a remote mountainous village with his wife and their three young children. When their first child was born, Abdul-Alim built a house for the family. It took him just two months to build it and the family have lived there ever since.

Many people in this village are farmers, others are shepherds. Abdul-Alim normally works as a labourer, finding daily work in his village and the surrounding area. “Over the winter I struggle to find work, and right now I have none. I am waiting for spring," he said.

Life was already tough in remote areas of Afghanistan, but the past seven months have been incredibly challenging for families like Abdul-Alim's. Economic collapse and drought has resulted in 80 per cent of the population facing debt and millions of Afghans facing the prospect of starvation. 95 per cent of the population are not eating enough food. "The thing we needed most was food. We didn't have anything to eat. We sold our home appliances and belongings to be able to afford some food, and we were about to start selling our clothes too." 

Many families have been forced to resort to desperate measures like selling their homes after their belongings run out, and travelling to other areas in search of a better life. For Abdul-Alim, this would have meant selling the family home he built with his own hands.

Providing essentials to those who need it most

"Then, I heard Afghanaid was supporting families like mine and I immediately signed up. In January we received cash to cover the cost of essentials and I do not know what we would have done without it. Thanks to this help I was able to buy things like oil, rice, sugar and other food for my family to eat. The money was enough to get my family through the winter. Now I hope to be able to find work in spring," he said.

“If I can find work, I can earn a small amount of income each day to support my family, but there was a drought and a war and everyone is in a bad situation, so there will be a lot of people looking for work and I don't know if I will find enough. Maybe some days I will be lucky."

There is no power in the village but with support from Afghanaid, Abdul-Alim has also been able to buy a small solar panel for his home.

Outside the village and along the road leading back to the provincial centre, farmers have started preparing the land for spring, when they will plant tomatoes and a crop called firola - a medicinal herb that they can get a higher price for at the market.

Soon, there will be some relief as winter passes. For these families, they survived it with Afghanaid’s support, but the challenges they face are long term and will require sustained support.

Looking ahead

Helping families fulfil their basic needs is a crucial first step in helping them rebuild their lives. Thanks to the generosity of the public to our ongoing appeal, we have provided over 634,100 men, women, boys, and girls with emergency humanitarian assistance since August 2021. Come spring, Afghanaid will also be working with communities across the country to get agriculture going again, to strengthen their resilience to face future crises, and to once again begin to support themselves.

*Please note: we have changed his name to protect his privacy. 

Abdul-Alim's home
Abdul-Alim's home
Abdul-Alim
Abdul-Alim

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Abul
Abul

Our update as of January 2022

Following the collapse of the Government in August, we were quickly able to re-open all of our offices across the country and bring both men and women back to work. We conducted a robust review of the most urgent needs facing communities at this time of grave humanitarian crisis and have continued to monitor evolving the situation as it develops. In August, we also launched an emergency appeal. Thanks to your generous support, we have raised over £1.3 million from the public, and we have raised an additional £3 million from institutional donors. 

The impact of your support

This money has allowed us to greatly scale up our emergency assistance to support people in Afghanistan to get through this difficult time, meaning that since August 2021, Afghanaid has so far reached over 278,400 men, women, boys and girls with humanitarian support.

This widespread humanitarian relief programme has included activities such as distributing:

  • Food packages to some 19,558 families, providing enough food for 4 months to get them through the winter. These food packages include things like flour, rice, pulses, oil and other essentials.
  • 2 months’ worth of soya-based supplementary food to treat malnutrition for over 3,500 babies and young children from 6 months to 5 years old.
  • Cash for work and cash for vital household essentials to over 9,430 families.
  • Emergency shelter and household kits including heating, cooking and hygiene equipment for 2,500 families.
  • Wheat seed, vegetable and fertiliser as well as training sessions on agriculture best practices to 10,449 farmers including 673 at-risk women.

Abul (picture 1) lives with his wife and their four children in a small village in rural Afghanistan. “We were living in a very bad situation and things were getting worse,” he said, “most days we had no food and my children went to sleep hungry. I was worried and stressed. I tried but I could not find a job to feed my family.”

“Then Afghanaid came to my village and distributed good quality food packages to families who needed it. This included wheat flour, pulses, oil and salt - enough to feed my family for two months. We will receive another two batches over the coming months, which will see us through the winter."

"As well as this, Afghanaid employed me and other local people to build irrigation structures in our land, to help us grow more food next year. Thanks to this work, I started to receive a wage. I am so relieved - I have enough food for my family and I also have a job so I can support them properly. So now I can say that, thanks to Afghanaid, we are happy."

"Thank you Afghanaid and to everyone involved for making us smile!”

Looking ahead

Thanks to you, we have also been able to plan ahead. This means that in the coming months we will be reaching over 357,300 additional men, women and children with emergency humanitarian assistance,  as well as working with communities to recover, rebuild their lives and strengthen their resilience to face future crises.

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Organization Information

Afghanaid

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @afghanaid
Project Leader:
Kate Arthur
London, United Kingdom
$26,916 raised of $30,000 goal
 
144 donations
$3,084 to go
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