"Disability has ruined my life, I can't cover my family's expenses," says Saifuddin from AfghanistanPublished: Sep 6, 2023 Reading time: 2 minutes
Saifuddin is 75 years old and lives with his three sons and three daughters in a damaged house in Asyab Sharaf village in Chemtal district of Balkh province in northern Afghanistan. Twenty years ago, he lost his legs and became one of an estimated 6 million Afghans living with some form of disability.
Sending his sons to work
Since his injury, Saifuddin has endured financial hardship and entrenched discrimination in accessing assistance and employment. "I have suffered from disability for 20 years. I struggled to find a job and feed my family during these years. Despite all my efforts and struggles, I couldn't fulfil their basic needs and wishes," says Saifuddin. Due to the worsening economic situation in Afghanistan, Safuddin was forced to take a painful decision. "Due to my disability and lack of job opportunities, I had to send my sons to work. This meant they couldn't join their classes, and they have left school," he says.
To help improve Saifuddin's situation, we recently provided him with Cash-for-Food assistance as part of a programme funded by the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund. "I already received cash assistance for all 6 rounds; each time, I received $60 (5,260 AFN). I bought rice, beans, oil, fruit, and meat once a week for my family. The children were so happy and were able to continue their education; this assistance was so useful and crucial for us," says Saifuddin.
Hygiene and nutrition awareness
We provided essential hygiene and nutrition awareness sessions to further improve the family situation. "PIN staff came to our community and delivered awareness on hygiene, health, and nutrition to community members about washing our hands regularly with soap before cooking, after work, and before eating. They also advised us to eat healthy, protein-rich meals to prevent malnutrition and other diseases," says Saifuddin.
Awareness sessions were also focused on COVID-19 prevention. Although they cannot afford to buy masks, after receiving awareness, Saifuddin's family washes their hands regularly, and they wear masks or put scarves on their faces while going outside.
28.8 million Afghans need help
Within the project funded by the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund, we have supported 8,038 people from the most vulnerable and deprived communities in Chemtal district of Balkh province to meet their immediate food needs and build their resilience. However, the needs across Afghanistan remain staggering as the number of Afghans needing urgent humanitarian assistance increased by half a million to 28.8 million between January and the end of May 2023.