Afghan stories: WAITING FOR HOPE

Nearly 40 years of conflict have deeply affected Afghanistan. Afghan civilians have paid a heavy price, as have health structures and humanitarian aid workers. The international community has generously invested billions of dollars into Afghanistan, including recent commitments of $15.2 billion for 2016-2020. Whilst such long-term investments are needed, Afghanistan’s progress continues to be undermined by growing instability, increasing displacement and chronic unmet humanitarian needs. Access to humanitarian assistance is continuously impeded by insecurity and bureaucratic constraints resulting from overall failures of governance of the internally displaced people situation. Those people have faces and stories to tell...

Shayesta Khan and his daughter Sidiqa, who was injured during attack

Shayesta Khan is a resident of Zurmat, district in the eastern Afghan province of Paktia, which was heavily affected by fighting between government forces and armed opposition groups. Because of active military operations and ongoing conflict in his village, Shayesta Khan and his family had to flee to the provincial capital Gardez. His daughter Sidiqa lost her leg during the attack and her left hand was broken. She urgently needed a treatment.

It was a really good and timely help from PIN. My family was really happy to have that amount of money. I could finally buy food for my family and there was no need to ask from others anymore. Now my daughter can visit the doctor at least twice a month and I can ensure better treatment for her,” Shayesta says. “I would like to say thank you so much for providing good support and extra assistance for better treatment and helping my family,” says 28-year old Sidiqa.

Shayesta Khan and his daughter Sidiqa

Shayesta Khan’s family was one of the 500 families displaced in January 2017, out of which INGOs in cooperation with UN OCHA and local government identified 145 families in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. (Read more.)

SHER ALI, displaced from Dahana-e-Ghori

Sher Ali escaped Dahana-e-Ghori with his family when the fighting came too close to his house. “I heard some rumours from other affected villages that the fighters are destroying everything. One morning I heard shooting close to our village, we took anything we could grab and left,” Sher Ali describes. The family found refuge in Pul-e-Khumri.

Sher Ali’s family received an unconditional cash grant to cover the costs of buying essential items such as clothing. Unfortunately fighting in Dahana-e-Ghori is far from over. Displaced families continue to reachg Pul-e-Khumri in search of peace and shelter for their families. In total at least 1,500 families are reportedly displaced. (Read more.)

MARYAM, a widowed mother

Maryam Bibi was displaced from Ahamd Khail district back in August 2016. "It was very insecure to stay there with children," she says and adds that she was only able to take what she could grab with her hands. Once she reached Gardez she faced a lot of problems.

People in Need was also able to support Maryam and her family with rental assistance for three months which enabled her to move from the tent that could barely fit her family into a house.

"I was able to purchase a carpet for my room and now I feel more comfortable, as the house offered us privacy, safety and dignity," says Maryam. "I also have more food and my children can continue their education in Gardez city," she adds and expresses her gratitude for the support. (Read more)

Maryam Bibi and her children

emergency response mechanism in afghanistan

In order to respond effectively and rapidly to emergencies caused by conflict and sudden natural disasters, the European Commission established the Emergency Response Mechanism (ERM) in 2011. This mechanism, funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Operations (ECHO), aims to meet the increasing humanitarian needs of populations in partnership with INGOs based across many provinces in Afghanistan.

People in Need (PIN) has been working in Afghanistan since 2001. Back in 2012 it became ERM partner and in terms of this mechanism is currently working in 5 provinces. PIN deploys assessment and response teams to meet as quickly as possible the needs of families affected by conflict (and natural disaster) through a small cash grant.


ERM Afganistan photo exhibiton on Flickr.com