The situation in Afghanistan remains precarious. According to the latest UN estimates, more than 97% of Afghans will soon be living below the poverty line.* More than 680,000 people have been internally displaced since the change of Government among which 59% are children under 18 years. Rising levels of hunger and outbreaks in refugee camps continue to overwhelm struggling health services. On top of that, the harsh winter over the past few months has further exacerbated people’s lack of access to food.
But because of all of our wonderful donors around the world, Hagar has been able to respond!
Progress made over the last 6 months:
- Hagar staff in Afghanistan have successfully obtained approval from the new Government to start providing practical assistance.
- To date, 5,768 of some of the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan have benefitted from Hagar’s distribution of food hampers.
- With temperatures dropping to below freezing over Winter, Hagar provided warm blankets, clothing and children’s shoes to vulnerable families (the majority of which are living in camps for Internally Displaced People – IDP). Approximately 7,752 people have benefitted from this winter support.
- Child friendly spaces were created across 6 different IDP camps to provide education and recreation where children could continue to learn and play without fear and worry. A total of 1,860 children and family members have benefitted from this initiative.
- Approximately 15,400 vulnerable people in Afghanistan have benefitted from Hagar’s Emergency Response so far.
Hagar has been one of the very few NGOs on the ground that have been permitted to provide humanitarian support at this time. By partnering in Hagar’s response, you are therefore having a significant impact on the ground.
The Hagar Team on the ground visited multiple encampments for Internally Displaced People (IDP). They found that most of the people in the IDP camps were women, children, those with disabilities and had no avenue to seek proper refuge. Through the lens of a strict assessment criteria, the team identified and selected the neediest households to be the first beneficiaries of our food distribution program. To date, 5,768 of the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan have benefitted from Hagar’s distribution of food hampers. As expressed by one beneficiary, Khadija, this support came at a critical time where winter typically causes large food shortages in Afghanistan.
“I am from Dasht-e-Barchi in Kabul province. We are six people in our family including me, my husband, two daughters and two sons. My husband is disabled and can’t do anything. And I am the sole breadwinner of the family. Of my children, two are disabled and I bear a lot of problems in my family. I live with my family in a rented house. I can barely make ends meet. In the past, I used to embroider before the fall of the government, which used to bring me some income, but now that work has come to a standstill. For now, Hagar’s help is a solution to some of our domestic problems. I hope Hagar can continue the food aid support because I do not have any other option to provide food for my family. I am very worried about the upcoming winter because we have nothing for winter. I fear that this winter will be very difficult for us”.
Khadija, beneficiary of food support
Child Friendly Spaces:
“Raghida is one of the smartest students in our class in the Arzan Qimat district. Her family is very poor and could not afford her education. When she enrolled in Hagar’s educational program, her clothes were so bad and she was barefoot that in such a cold winter, she could not continue her studies without warm clothes and shoes. They are living in a tent in the Botkhak IDP camp.
One day when I was in the classroom teaching to the students she came to the class very worried. When I asked her the reason? She said: “my family is very poor we do not have warm clothes and blankets for the cold winter. I cannot come to the class without a warm jumper and shoes. So I am going to quit my class in winter.”
Her condition was really bad and it was very difficult to come to the class in this cold weather, but fortunately, Hager’s office took very serious steps in this regard and through the emergency response plan provided warm winter clothes and shoes to the students of our classes. They bought shoes and helped their families with blankets. In doing so, the students who had been forced to drop out of school due to winter resumed their studies. And their families have survived the onslaught of winter”.