People in Need supporting Afghans displaced by violence and natural disastersPublished: Dec 2, 2019 Reading time: 3 minutes
As 2019 draws to a close, humanitarian needs continue to grow in Afghanistan due to ongoing violence, natural disasters, internal displacement, food insecurity and the onset of winter.
According to monthly updates from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), one third of people in Afghanistan are suffering acute food insecurity and more than 6 million people are in need of aid. This year alone, some 380,000 people were displaced by conflict and another 300,000 were affected by natural disasters.
To address these challenges, People in Need (PIN), with funding from USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, implemented a shelter and settlement program to help meet the needs of internally displaced people and returnees. Residents of hard to reach areas in the country’s east, southeast, and central regions were provided with multi-purpose cash assistance, non-food items, and winterization kits.
Forced to flee due to fighting
Tamam Khada is one of many affected by the displacement crisis. In early February, he and his family were forced to flee their home in the Mohammad Agha district of Logar Province due to fighting between armed opposition groups and the Afghan National Security Forces. Unfortunately, life in their adopted home of Pul-e Alam is not easy, either. Khada lost a leg during the conflict, and yet he remains the only breadwinner for his large family of nine. Displacement only exacerbated his social and financial struggles.
In March, Khada was selected by PIN to receive cash assistance. His family received 12,000 Afghani (about $150). "This support enabled me to access public services and reach humanitarian assistance,” Khada says. “Now I have money to pay for transportation and I can reach local administration departments to take care of important business.”
‘I totally rely on a wheelchair’
Obaid Musa is another Afghan affected by violence. Earlier this year, Musa fled Mohammad Agha with his family, and now they live in Khost Province. Like so many others, they, too, are facing serious difficulties. "I was not able to walk and reach basic services in the area,” Musa says. “With such a disability I was not able to find even small jobs and we did not have any source of income. I totally rely on a wheelchair, car, or zarange (local taxi) for long distances."
In April, PIN supported Musa’s family with 12,000 Afghani. He is using the financial resources to access public services, such as transportation, and for humanitarian assistance.
Cash and equipment for 50,000 people
During the 16-month project, “Ensuring access to basic, life-saving assistance for most vulnerable individuals affected by conflict and natural disaster in Afghanistan,” PIN provided money to 3,978 households, and 3,000 households also received supplies such as blankets, torches, lamps, cooking equipment, sleeping mats, and clothing. An additional 779 families received winter clothing kits, with items such as sweaters, shawls, wraps, shoes, socks, gloves and hats. In total, the program supported more than 54,000 people in 12 districts of Paktia, Khost, Logar, and Nangarhar provinces.
*Names of people have been changed in the article for security reasons