Afghanistan

Afghanistan Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 83 | 1 October–31 December 2019

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A single mother displaced by conflict gets help to survive the winter

Contribution from Afghanaid

Sayed Bibi is a single mother and raising three young children on her own. Unable to earn a living, life for has been particularly difficult. “My husband went to Iran to help us establish a better life, but I have not heard from him since,” she said.

The situation for her and her family worsened further when they were forced to flee their home as a result of escalating conflict. Over 437,000 people were displaced across Afghanistan during 2019 alone, often settling in communities already struggling with poverty and the lasting effects of drought or other natural disasters.

Much of Afghanistan experiences extreme heat in the summer months and the winters can be punishing, particularly where Sayed Bibi now lives in a remote village in Ghor Province, where the temperature can dip to -20°C. “I couldn’t heat our room. My children cried from being so cold, but there was nothing I could do. We didn’t have anyone to help us,” she recalled.

Sayed Bibi received 15,720AFN (approximately US$205) as part of Afghanaid’s emergency response. “I used this money to buy firewood for my heater and stove and now my children are warm and safe,” explained Sayed Bibi. “This is such a relief and I am so grateful for this help,” she added.

For families on the move with very few supplies, winter can be lethal. As increasingly harsh and erratic weather has become the norm with a changing climate, vulnerable families such as Sayed Bibi’s are at most risk.

Last quarter Afghanaid, in coordination with the provincial and local authorities, distributed cash assistance to 862 vulnerable and newly displaced families, prioritising families headed by women, people with disabilities and the elderly. This assistance, funded by the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund, was distributed in two instalments: the first instalment was to purchase gas cylinders or heaters; and the second instalment was to be distributed after confirmation that the targeted families have gas cylinders or heaters in their homes. The organisation is also providing long-term support to help displaced families get back on their feet.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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