ACT Appeal Afghanistan 1/2000: War Displaced Winter Assistance ASAF93 - Update

Geneva, 24 February 2000
During the summer of 1999 the Taliban started a major offensive with 100,000 troops in Kabul, Takhar, Kapisa, Parwan, Samangan, Kunduz, Panjshir Valley and Hazarajat provinces.

The summer offence caused tremendous suffering for the Afghan people with agricultural infrastructure and homes in Shomali Valley and Central Afghanistan (Hazarajat) burned and destroyed. Systematic violations of human rights have been reported and aid workers in the area report that over 300 people have been killed and thousands wounded. Aid agencies estimate that over 250,000 Afghans have been internally displaced, furthermore, the displaced families are still in desperate need of relief materials and assistance and their situation has worsened due to the harsh Afghan winter.

Fighting is continuing in eight provinces and current statistics are:

No. of people killed: 300
No. of people injured: estimated at several thousands
No. of displaced People: 250,000
No. of provinces affected: 8
No. of families without adequate winter supplies: 250,000

As in all Afghan conflicts, civilians are the likely targets of human rights violations and pay a high price for a conflict in which they have no active part.

ACT Appeal ASAF93 for Afghanistan * War Displaced Winter Assistance was issued on 3 December 1999 with ACT member Church World Service * Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS - P/A) implementing through local partners Norwegian Project Office (NPO) and Co-operation Center for Afghanistan (CCA). The goal of the above proposal was to provide basic life sustaining food aid and winter shelter materials to some 3,300 most vulnerable families displaced by the fighting. To date funding has amounted to a mere 21% of a total appeal target of US$ 326,755.

CWS-P/A have visited and coordinated all aid efforts in co-operation with the Kabul UNOCHA Office, Government Ministries, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Peshawar.

All shelter materials were purchased and shipped into the affected areas and in Peshawar and Hazarajat some 1,300 families have already received the winter shelter kits. While the distribution in Peshawar was not a planed activity, due to the rapidly changing situation on the ground 300 new arrivals in a camp near Peshawar were also included, mainly because as many as 80 percent of these new arrivals were female headed households.

Distribution for Kabul is in the process but no food aid distribution has been under taken due to under funding.

Impact of war on the relief program:

Due to the continuous fighting on many fronts, aid efforts are being seriously hampered, especially transport and communications. All this is worsening the situation for the families and the most glaring fact of this conflict is that families are breaking up, that is, the men are escaping to the north as staying in the area means prison or death. Another serious human rights violation is the burning of crops/fields/gardens and houses which will have a long term impact on food security and rehabilitation work in the area.

Interim Finance Report:

Receipts from ACT
Received from ACT Network
Project Expenses
Winter Shelter Kits
Bank Charges

As the needs are critical we urge donors to reconsider funding for the above Appeal.

Thank you for your attention.

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ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response. The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.