Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Responding to the food crisis

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We are helping provide emergency assistance to people in Afghanistan, where a combination of severe winter weather in 2008, floods and the rise in global food prices has left 2.7 million people short of food

Landslides, avalanches and floods caused by heavy rainfall and melting snow in western and northern Afghanistan in spring 2009 damaged more than 10,000 hectares of agricultural land, and killed a large number of livestock.

Crops that had been planted could not be harvested, and many families could not afford to replace their animals.

Now facing another harsh winter, many families have reached crisis point. With no food in the house, animals to use for milk and meat or enough money to buy expensive supplies, most people cannot feed their families or afford basic necessities.

Vouchers for food

We have given =A320,000 to our partner, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for their emergency work in order to support 930 families. Our help is specifically for families that include someone who is elderly, widowed or disabled and cannot do manual labour.

They will receive vouchers which can be redeemed for food and other things they need to help them through the winter, such as fuel, blankets and shoes.

Each family will receive a voucher worth =A3110, which should be enough to buy flour, cooking oil, rice, chickpeas, beans, sugar and tea to feed six people for two months.Lucy Morris, our programme officer for Afghanistan said:

"Many people had to sell their livestock, farming tools, seeds and basic household items, or borrowed money so that they could get through the harsh winter of 2008.

"The ongoing drought, coupled with the damage caused by flash floods and landslides, and high food prices means that they haven't recovered in time for this winter."

CRS are also supporting people so that they can earn an income. Selected families will be given vouchers worth =A3120 so that they can buy livestock, seed, carpet weaving materials, food processing equipment and farming tools."