Helping Husain, and thousands like him, with cash assistance in AfghanistanPublished: Oct 4, 2023 Reading time: 3 minutes
We drove around 40 kilometres from Ghazni City to reach Dehmeer Khan Village in Ghazni Province. The land, trees, and gardens along the road were almost deserted. Recent winters have been particularly harsh and challenging for the residents, who have faced shortages of health facilities, food, and heating materials. Most residents in the villages of Dehmeerkhan, Yousef, and Wali Ahmad Khan Tagay live in poverty. The villagers are barely able to afford basic living costs.
Husain (70) has lived with his family in Wali Mohammad Khan Tagay Village for over seven decades. He was the only breadwinner for his two sons and one daughter for a long time. "I am farming my lands; as you see, I am old and cannot do hard work, yet farming is hard. Both of my sons are teachers; one of them is separated from us, and he lives with his wife and kids," says Husain.
“Before, it was good; we could afford our family’s expenses, but when the flash flood hit our land, I lost my crops. At the moment, my son is the only provider for the family because our land is destroyed and deserted," says Husain.
My wife suffers from rheumatism, and I cannot afford the treatment
"We are working the land, both men and women, so wetlands and a lack of precautionary facilities caused her rheumatism; it’s been two years since she has had a comfortable sleep, and not only her, but all the family are struggling with her pain," says Husain.
The village has no doctors, medicines, or health facilities; therefore, all the residents needing medical attention must travel to Ghazni for treatment. Travelling to Ghazni is expensive, and Husain could not afford it.
Because of his financial hardship, Husain was recently selected for our cash for non-food items programme funded by the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF). “After surveying our houses, the People in Need staff selected me. Today, I received the assistance, which was 11,110 AFN ($140), and I am very happy because it was on-time support. Now I can afford to take my wife to the doctors and spend this money on her treatment and medicines,” says Husain.
Awareness sessions on COVID-19 and personal hygiene
Meanwhile, Husain’s family received home counselling and awareness sessions about personal hygiene and COVID-19. "People in Need staff told us in a big gathering about cleanliness and its importance, about COVID-19 and its risks, and taught us how to use the toilet, what to do before and after the toilet, and how to wash hands to prevent diseases,” says Husain. After receiving the training, Husain’s family began washing their hands, covering their wells, and wearing masks while going to the city.
We provided cash for non-food items to over 3840 households: 529 female and 3311 male-headed households in Ghazni, Jaghatu, and Malistan districts of Ghazni Province. We provided each chosen person in the project with 11,110 AFG ($140) cash per person. According to interviews with recipients, 89% of them primarily used the cash assistance for non-food Items. This helped cover their essential needs and allowed them to use their remaining savings for urgent priorities like food, health, and shelter.
According to UNOCHA Afghanistan, 28.3 million people – or two-thirds of Afghanistan’s population - will need urgent humanitarian assistance, and 17 million people face acute hunger in 2023 as the country enters its third consecutive year of drought-like conditions and its second year of crippling economic decline. This all happened while people were still reeling from the effects of 40 years of conflict and recurrent natural disasters.