ACT Appeal Afghanistan Emergency Drought Relief ASAF-01

Originally published


Appeal Target: US$ 1,146,723
Geneva, 17 May, 2000

Dear Colleagues,

Afghanistan, with a population of almost 21 million, has been suffering the ravages of a protracted war and inter-factional militant engagements these last several years. An inordinate number of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and droughts, in the recent past have further exacerbated the situation. Unquestionably, Afghanistan today is one of the poorest nations in the world with its totally destroyed infrastructure and lack of any security.

The current drought is reported to be a part of the wider climatic phenomenon affecting countries in South Asia across to the Near East and the Greater Horn of Africa.

In Afghanistan, it is reported to be the worst drought since 1971, severely affecting large numbers across southern and western parts of the country, while a moderate drought is affecting much of the rest of the country. Thousands of families have been evacuated and considerable numbers forced to leave their homes in search of water, food and fodder. Crops have withered and the mortality rate amongst livestock is estimated to be as high as 80%.

ACT members Church World Service - Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS P/A) and Norwegian Church Aid - Afghanistan have drawn up plans to address this emergency situation by providing food, fodder and water to the most needy and vulnerable sections of the population affected by the drought.

Another ACT member, Christian Aid which works with local partners in western Afghanistan is working on a drought relief proposal, which on receipt will be distributed to all concerned.

Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested

Total Appeal Targets (in US$)
Less: Pledges/Contr. Recd
Balance Requested from ACT Network
Implementation period and project completion dates are:
  • CWS P/A: May - September 30, 2000
  • NCA: May - December 31, 2000

Please kindly send your contributions to the ACT bank account and inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel. +4122/791.60.38, e-mail address of all pledges, contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers. Please note the Pledge Form is no longer attached with the Appeal.

Account Number - 102539/0.01.061 (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
Banque Edouard Constant
Cours de Rive 11
Case postale 3754
1211 Genève 3

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

ACT Web Site address:

Ms. Geneviève Jacques
WCC/Cluster on Relations
Thor-Arne Prois
ACT Coordinator
Rev. Rudolf Hinz
LWF/World Service
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.


  • Church World Service (CWS) - Pakistan/Afghanistan


Registered as an international NGO with the Government of Pakistan, ACT member Church World Service - Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS P/A) has been operational with its relief and development initiatives in Pakistan and Afghanistan, since 1954. It is the regional office of the Church World Service USA and the relief and development arm of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCCCUSA). CWS P/A has offices in Lahore, Karachi, Mansehra and Jalalabad. The head office of CWS P/A is based in Karachi, while the Disaster Response Office is based in Lahore.

CWS P/A works through and with, both faith based and secular organizations, on pre and post disaster management and development aspects, for improvement of the quality of life of underprivileged communities. Over the past few decades, CWS P/A has sought to enhance access of the impoverished to basic amenities, such as potable water, food, shelter, education, etc. Efforts have been made to increase their participation in the development process for establishment of a democratic civic society and bridge the gap between policy makers and development implementers, such as local bodies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community based organizations (CBOs). The organization adheres to the belief that communities themselves must set the agenda for change. This approach encourages equal and even growth in communities.

CWS P/A works in the areas of disaster response, capacity building and social development.

CWS P/A had been working on disaster response and relief since the mid-eighties. Subsequent to extensive deliberations held with Emergency Response Office of the CWS in the United States in late 1997, CWS P/A organized, in collaboration with Action by Churches Together (ACT), a national level Disaster Management Training Workshop. This program was organized under the Capacity Building initiative of the organization and included CWS partners, who were already working in disaster response in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as other interested and involved organizations. This training program, which was facilitated by a representative of the University of Wisconsin, actually set the tone for the CWS P/A to establish a network of the partners, namely Pak-Afghan Disaster Response Network.

This network consists of 13 regional organizations, working in the relief and development sector.

For some time after its inception, the Pak-Afghan Disaster Response Network, remained focused on sharing of information on training and disasters. This included publications, Disaster Response Office (DRO) Updates and News and DRO Alerts and Warnings. In 1998 and 1999 however, when double earthquakes, cyclones and floods took their toll in Afghanistan the network became tangibly active.

Implementing Partners

Among vital members of the network, Norwegian Project Office / Rural Rehabilitation Association for Afghanistan (NPO/RRAA) is one that has significant institutional capacity with its regional offices in the provinces of Laghaman, Logar, Hazarajat and Takhar in Afghanistan and in Peshawar in Pakistan. NPO/RRAA, has 200 staff members and over 1500 volunteers, working jointly in disaster response initiatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hazarajat, central Afghanistan, is focal point for the NPO in its relief and development work.


Afghanistan, with its population of around 21 million people stretches over 652,225-sq. km. and shares its borders with China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It is unarguably one of the most impoverished countries in the world.

Even before the nineties, the country in general was barely on subsistence level, with only 10 % of its land being cultivable and that being the source of livelihood for 80% of the population. As a consequence of the protracted war and inter-factional militant engagements, the country has lost the few subsistence sources that it had. During the last decade agricultural production has fallen by 70%, infrastructure has been destroyed and floods, earthquakes and droughts have taken their toll.

Currently, Afghanistan is teetering at the edge of an abyss. The current drought, which started in 1999, has drastically undermined any remaining food security in the country. During the winter period of 99/00 there was 50 - 60% less snow than average (snow being the sole source of water in the area) and consequently, with such a major decline in the natural water resource, cash crops, especially wheat have been a total failure. This has also resulted in a lack of fodder for animals with livestock numbers declining rapidly.

Impact on Human Life and Damages

The provinces of Laghaman, Logar, Hazarajat and Takhar are among the worst affected areas. These areas are inhabited mainly by poor, subsistence farmers and Kochis (nomads who live by trading animals) who even in normal times live from hand to mouth. Nearly 80 % of the animals have either died, been sold or slaughtered as there has been no other viable alternative. Exacerbating the already dire situation is the fact that farmers have also had to pay back for the wheat-seed they borrowed for 1999 and 2000. The consequences of the lack of food and water are already manifesting themselves in the form of rising child mortality rates and malnutrition especially among children, women and the elderly. Many people are leaving the areas in desperation.


The project aims to provide emergency relief to some of the most vulnerable families to tide them over a period of three months enabling them to plan and take measures for the future.

Specifically the project will:

  • Provide food packages to 4,000 of the most vulnerable families in the Afghan provinces of Laghaman, Logar, Hazarajat and Takhar and prevent already rising cases of malnutrition and disease.


ACT member, CWS P/A proposes assisting 4,000 of the most vulnerable families in the provinces of Laghaman, Logar, Hazarajat and Takhar by providing them food for a period of three months. This will help in the prevention of malnutrition, disease and untimely death and also encourage them to remain where they are instead of migrating to other areas.

The criteria for beneficiary selection is based on economic indicators of impoverishment and vulnerability. After an assessment, 4,000 families who have totally lost their means of livelihood and are unable to cope were identified as fitting these criteria.

Number of Families
Total Persons
Family Composition:

Average size of the families is 8, with an average of 6 children in each household. Children number around 24,000 while adults number 8,000. Nearly 80 % of these families are headed by men.


The proposed appeal seeks to provide 4,000 of the most vulnerable families with food packages. Each three-month food package for a family of 8 members includes:

  • 150 kg wheat,
  • 11 liters cooking oil,
  • 20 kg rice,
  • 6 kg beans,
  • 6 kg sugar and
  • 2 kg tea.

The project will be implemented through NPO/RRAA regional offices, already working in the target areas. However, NPO requires a further 15 full-time paid workers in the regional offices to help carry out the project along with the 1,200 volunteer workers that the organization already has in the target areas,

NPO/RRA is working closely with UN support agencies which are working on health, sanitation and water. Thus, filling in the gap, NPO seeks not only to provide food to the vulnerable families for three months, but also to provide them a "breathing space" thus enabling them to gather their energies and strategize for food security; through agriculture and enhancement of their productivity and livestock.



CWS P/A partner has established offices in Laghaman, Logar, Hazarajat and Takhar to carry out the relief operation.

In association with the implementing partner, the Disaster Response Office (DRO) team of CWS P/A will be responsible for monitoring, reviewing and reporting of the program. Specialized forms prepared by CWS-P/A will be used for such exercises. This team comprises of 4 staff members, headed by the Coordinator for the Disaster Response Program. In liaison with the implementing partner, DRO team will ensure that the program moves forward according to its plan and schedule.


CWS P/A and NPO have requested quotations from different dealers for the commodities. A number of factors, including price, quality, efficiency of delivery, policies and procedures (if applicable), political and cultural sensitivity and reputation of the suppliers, will be taken into account.


The Administration and Finance divisions of the CWS P/A, Karachi the head office, will make sure that financial and management aspects are dealt authoritatively, according to the established budgetary guidelines and procedures. All payments will need the approval of the Director and regular financial updates will be produced. At the end of the project, the finance officer will collect the supporting documents from the partner and carry out the internal audit. External audit will be carried out on completion of the project.

Reports will be submitted to ACT Geneva as per schedule and in prescribed forms.


CWS P/A will operate through its Disaster Response Network partner, the Norwegian Project Office (NPO), which is working in the target areas. However, CWS P/A will be overall responsible for the project implementation and management. CWS P/A will be in liaison with other organizations, which are working on health, water, sanitation, shelter etc. in the vulnerable area.

Coordination will also take place with other ACT members NCA and Christian Aid as appropriate.

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