“I received financial assistance and purchased essential food for my family,” says Gul Jan. She is one of more than 32,000 people supported with cash for food assistance in northern Afghanistan.

Published: Apr 12, 2024 Reading time: 3 minutes
“I received financial assistance and purchased essential food for my family,” says Gul Jan. She is one of more than 32,000 people supported with cash for food assistance in northern Afghanistan.
© Foto: Jallaluddin Adibpoor
Gul Jan (52) lives with her nine family members in Char Bagh village in northern Afghanistan. Due to limited job opportunities, many have migrated to Iran and Pakistan in search of work to support their families. Those who remain typically rely on wage labour from farming and husbandry.

Gul Jan is one of the most vulnerable residents in her village due to the lack of job opportunities. “I am over 50 years old, and my husband can no longer carry out hard work at his age. Despite being young and capable of working, my sons have not been able to find decent and dignified jobs.

"I do not complain about my destiny as my fate is written; for as long as I can recall, I have never experienced a happy life," says Gul Jan.

My daughters are the beating hearts of our family

Finding a job in Afghanistan poses significant challenges, particularly for women. Despite these obstacles, women do not want to give up; they want to find ways to work and earn their own money. Throughot the two decades of war, many families have lost their breadwinners, compelling women to adjust to the situation. “Out of my six daughters, only two have managed to find a job, albeit temporarily, but it’s better than nothing. They must cover the entire family’s expenses through this sole source of income,” says Gul Jan.

“My sons are facing great difficulties finding jobs and contributing to our family's financial betterment. Despite theirpersistent efforts, they have not been able to find a sustainable job. My eldest son once told me that when he finds a job, he will ensure that his sisters do not have to work in other households and can stay home,” says Gul Jan.

“I used to work in a neighbouring household and could barely provide for my children, but I’m unable to do so. My daughters are working, and my two sons are searching for jobs, but I believe they will find one in due course,” she says.

More than half of Afghanistan’s population requires humanitarian assistance

We included Char Bag village in our emergency food response, funded by the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund, to support those most in need during the lean months. Our team assessed community members to identify those at risk of malnutrition and the most vulnerable. Gul Jan was among those we supported. She received cash support to sustain her family food needs for three months.

People in Need, with support from the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund, provided cash for food assistance to 32,542 people in the Dawlatabad district. Gul Jan received the equivalent of 112.5 USD in the local currency. “With this support, I now have enough rice, wheat, beans, oil, sugar, and tea to last until the end of the wholy Month of Ramadan,” says Gul Jan.

According to UNOCHA, in 2024, an estimated 23.7 million people – more than half of Afghanistan’s population - will require humanitarian assistance. The critical priorities for humanitarian response include providing food assistance, ensuring access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene, delivering healthcare services and facilitating education.

Autor: Jallaluddin Adibpoor, PIN Afghanistan Communication Officer

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