Afghanistan

Islamic Relief: Afghanistan Crisis Update - March 2002

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
Situation Overview
The events of the past few months have meant that Afghanistan and the crisis engulfing it for more than two decades have been rediscovered by the world. This recognition of the humanitarian crisis now and the promises of aid filtering in does not mean that the condition did not exist preceding the occurrence of the events neither does it imply that the crisis is over.

The crisis is far from over. With the situation stabilizing to a certain extent and the Interim Administration in place, the political scenario is looking better. But the nation needs rebuilding; the persisting condition of drought and the absence of any income generating activities have rendered the people of Afghanistan in a precarious condition. The food security situation, the cereal deficit combined with economic turmoil and remnants of civil war have rendered millions of Afghans homeless. Living in IIDP camps or across the border in refugee camps, these Afghans are still in need of significant assistance.

According to the latest UNHCR reports over 200,000 Afghans, (mostly urban refugees) have been voluntarily repatriated with assistance provided. This clearly indicates the trend that will be followed in the months to come, along with defining the needs for rebuilding the infrastructure of the country.

Since the formal establishment of Islamic Relief s Afghanistan mission, IR has implemented various projects beginning with a Food for Asset Creation project, which was followed by free food distributions during the emergency situation created by the air strikes. Being the only international humanitarian organization operational in the area especially in the southern region during the air strikes, various free food distributions were implemented by IR. To date IR has independently and in partnership with other organisations signed agreements for the distribution of over 25,000 MT of food and has distributed over 14,500 MT fighting acute shortage of food and arresting further displacement. In all, in the year leading to the end of March 2002, IR distributed nearly =A35 million of emergency food.

Emergency Response

For the past two decades Afghanistan has been suffering from man made and natural disasters, few manmade and others natural. More than three years of drought, intercepted by sudden flash floods and recurrence of earthquakes have failed to subdue the resilient Afghans.

The recent wave of earthquakes shaking the northern region of Afghanistan have added yet more links to the long chain of disasters. IR responded to both the disasters delivering much needed relief supplies to the area. IR Kabul's response team ensured project implementation was smooth and effective.

Considering the frequency of the natural disasters that have hit the area, IR is embarking on a disaster preparedness plan for improving the efficiency of the response to any future occurrences.

Earthquake I - Sar Bagh (Samangan Province)

Project Summary:

On March 3rd 2002, at approximately 15:30 local time an earthquake rocked Afghanistan sending a wave of panic throughout the country. Measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, the epicenter was reported to be Faizabad, Badakshan, but the tremors were felt across the whole region.

The initial reports of damage to the physical infrastructure of the area and at least one death in Kabul were followed by alarming reports of the earthquake triggering a major landslide in the village of Sar Bagh, Samangan Province. The mudslide that collapsed into the valley taking everything with it buried 180 people including 40 children of a primary school and flattened more than a hundred houses displacing and affecting more than 1,900 families of the village. Along with blocking the main access roads to the valley the slide fell into the stream going through the area, which resulted in widespread flooding.

Key Achievements:

The program was implemented efficiently and successfully: 640 families benefited from the distribution.

Beneficiaries
Package (per family)
Total Food Distributed
Cost Of The Project
640 families
4,480 individuals
50kg Wheat,
5 litres oil
aprox.35 MT
US $10,000

Project Activities and Outputs:

Coordinating with various other international aid agencies, IR team went into the affected area intending to assess the situation and take action on the site accordingly. After conducting the assessment of the needs of the people, a free food distribution was implemented. Ration cards were distributed with local assistance and with the help of ARCS (Afghan Red Crescent Society) 640 of the area's most vulnerable families were assisted.

Earthquake II - Nahrin (Baghlan Province)

Project Summary:

The second earthquake that shook the northern area of Afghanistan came soon after the first one; rehabilitative work was still on going in the village of Sar Bagh. This time measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale the earthquake managed to exact even more damage than the previous one. Causing wide spread destruction to the village of Nahrin the quake rendered 10,000 people homeless and killed 800 while seriously injuring many more. The aftershocks of the earthquake lasted till 5t'' of April greatly hampering the relief efforts.

With the experience of the first emergency response behind them, the international community was able to collaborate in a much more synchronized and efficient intervention. Collaborating with the other INGOs on site the IR team went in to assess the damage and identified gaps in the aid coming in, in order to avoid duplication of efforts.

Project Objectives:

To provide for essential hygiene and clothing needs of those affected by the emergency

A hygiene kit comprised of:

- 2 packs of washing powder
- 2 bars of washing soap
- 1 toilet soap.
- 1 packet of match boxes (10)
- 1 towel
- 1 nail cutter

Key Achievements

Taking the situation on the ground into consideration, IR's team decided to intervene through the distribution of hygiene kits and warm clothing. A shortage of warm clothing was identified. Many of the families were spending nights outside in sub-zero temperatures in tents and blankets. With the majority of homes destroyed and almost all the possessions of the affected families destroyed or damaged, most of the people were left without basic items such as soap, matches, towels etc. The supplies were procured from Mazar and transported to Nahrin. Sweaters for women and children and hygiene kits comprising of soap, washing detergent, towels, candles, matchboxes etc were distributed.

Beneficiaries
Package
Total Distributed
Cost Of The Project
5,000 households
(35,000 individuals)
2 hygiene Kits
10,000
US $17,700 approx
4,688 Children
2,344 Women
2 jumpers for children & one for mother
7,032
US $ 14,064

Ongoing Projects

IR-WFP Free Food Distribution in Kandahar

Project Summary

Though peace has technically returned to Afghanistan, local conflicts and drought continue to challenge the country. It is quite clear that even after the political agreement reached in Bonn the Afghans are in great need of emergency food assistance. Rehabilitation and development work undertaken now will only see tangible results after sometime. The most basic requirement of the Afghans continues to be immediate food assistance. Keeping that in mind IR has signed an agreement with WFP for the implementation of a six-month free food distribution of 4,612 MT in six districts: Maruf, Arghistan, Daman, Gorak, Khakrez and Maiwand of Kandahar Province.

Project Objectives:

To provide food sustenance

Project Activities and Outputs

Objectives

Output: Increased food availability and stabilized sustenance

Activities:

1.Recruitment of field officers
2. Technical assessment
3. Contact with local NGOs
4. Recruitment of monitoring staff
5.Establishment of offices and warehouses in the field
6. Needs Assessment
7.Procurement of office equipment
8.Monitoring of project progress
9. Submission of reports to HQ & WFP

Measurable Indicators

15,472 families with adequate food intake

Key Achievements:

Out of the total wheat allocation of 4,642 MT, 1,547.32 MT was delivered to 1R by WFP for the first phase of distribution, which benefited 15,472 households.

IR has established a very effective and good relationship with WFP based on our long association of almost a year, during which 1R has signed various contracts with them for Free Food Distributions (FFD) and are exploring the possibilities of future partnership projects.

Keeping the capacity building of the local Afghan NGOs in mind 1R signed contracts with them as local implementing partners.

Food Distribution

District
Province
Distribution
center
No. of
beneficiary
households
No. of
beneficiary
individuals
Total wheat
allocated for the project
Wheat
distributed in
1st Phase
Maruf
Kandahar
District Center
2,686
18,802
806
268.66
Arghistan
Kandahar
District Center
2,803
19,621
841
280.33
Daman
Kandahar
District Center
1,800
12,600
540
180
Mayand
Kandahar
District Center
5,543
38,801
1,663
554.33
Ghorak
Kandahar
District Center
780
5,460
234
78
Khakrez
Kandahar
District Center
1,860
13,020
558
186
Total
15,472
108,304
4,642
1,547.32

Beneficiaries of the Food Distribution

Adults
Between 5 & 15
Less than 5
Total
Total
M
F
M
F
F
M
F
M
108,304
32,491
21,661
22,743
15,162
9,448
6,449
64,982
43,322


IR-WFP Free Food Distribution in Helmand

Project Summary

Taking into consideration the situation of food insecurity, the increased vulnerability of Afghans, low-income 0 generation opportunities and the prevalent drought condition, IR signed an agreement for the implementation of FFD with WFP. 19,111 beneficiary families (133,775 individuals) in Baghran, Sarban Qala and Kajaki (three of 2 the remotest and most drought-affected districts of Helmand province) would benefit from the distribution of 5,574 MT of wheat.

Project Objectives:

Provision of food to the vulnerable and to counter acute food shortage

Project Activities and Outputs

Objectives

Output: Increased food availability and stabilized sustenance

Activities:

1.Recruitment of field officers.
2. Technical assessment
3. Contact with local NGOs
4. Recruitment of monitoring staff
5. Establishment of offices and warehouses in the field
6. Needs assessment
7. Procurement of office equipment
8. Monitoring of project progress
9. Submission of reports to HQ & WFP

Measurable Indicators

19,111 families with adequate food intake

Key Achievements:

Out of the total allocated amount of 5,574 MT of wheat, the food for the first phase was delivered on time amounting to 1,851.99 MT and was distributed in the month of March 2002 in collaboration with local implementing partners.

Beneficiaries of the Food Distribution

Adults
Between 5 & 15
Less than 5
Total
Total
M
F
M
F
F
M
F
M
156,051
46,815
31,210
32,770
21,847
14,045
9,363
93,631
62,420

Food Distribution

District
Province
Distribution
center
No. of
beneficiary
households
No. of
beneficiary
individuals
Total wheat
allocated for the
project
Wheat
distributed in
Ist Phase
Baghran Helmand District Center
6,636
46,452
1,991
663.66
Kajaki Helmand Tanji
9,833
68,831
2,950
983.33
Sarban Qala Helmand District Center
2,110
14,770
633
211
Total
22,293
156,051
5,574
1,851.99

IR- WFP Free Food Distribution in Urozgan & Parwan

Project Summary:

With the prevailing conditions and the need for emergency food in view, IR in collaboration with WFP, implemented the "Free Food (Wheat) Distribution" program in the districts of Ghorband (1,543 MT) and Sheikh Ali (980 MT), districts of Parwan Province and the districts of Arristan (1,779 MT) and Kejran (2,000) of Urozgan Province. With the winter closing in thereby increasing access to the remote areas of Hazarajat region known as 'hunger belt' an urgent response was called for. The six-month project worth =A31,645,027 benefiting 156,917 individuals began on 22nd October 2001 and is in progress. Islamic Relief is implementing this programme with two local NGOs; Ghazni Rural Support Programme (GRSP) in districts Kejran and Ajrristan of Urozgan Province and district Ghorband in Parwan Province. Whereas, ERTEBAT another local NGO, is the implementing partner in Sheikh Ali district of Parwan province.

The distribution in Ghorband was a three month project and was completed in January. Throughout March 2002, the distributions in the three districts have been on going and will be finished in April 2002; so far we have distributed 637 MT in Sheikh Ali, 1000 MT Kejran and 1483 MT in Ajristan.

Project Objectives:

To provide food security

Project Activities and Outputs

Objectives

Output: Iincreased food availability and stabilized sustenance

Activities:

1.Recruitment of field officers.
2. Technical assessment
3. Recruitment of monitoring staff
4. Contact with local NGOs
5. Establishment of offices and warehouses in the field
6. Needs assessment
7. Procurement of office equipment
8. Monitoring of project progress
9. Submission of reports to HQ & WFP

Measurable Indicators

Acute shortage of food was countered. Further displacement was arrested

Kandahar Education Project

Project Summary:

Improving Education through Participation

Years of war have been most detrimental to the education system of Afghanistan. Since the establishment of a Interim Administration in Kabul, one of the essential steps towards the rebuilding of the country is to revive its education system. Believing in the importance of education and its vital link to poverty alleviation IR has started the implementation of its "Kandahar Education Project". The project funded by DFID initially focuses on the rehabilitation of the primary section of 40 schools in Kandahar city and its suburbs in the next fifteen months. It also aims at strengthening the capacity of the Kandahar Education Directorate.

In order to implement an effective project resulting in long term human development, a community participative approach will be employed. Following the initial allocation of funds for repair and renovation work on the primary section of 40 schools, School Management Councils will be formed. These Councils comprising of teachers and parents would discuss the educational issues, as well as identifying and prioritizing the repair work that will be undertaken.

Along with involving the community in the project, IR is working at enhancing the capacity of the Kandahar Education Directorate. A capacity mapping exercise will be conducted based on which measures/interventions like exposure visits, training and provision of necessary equipment like computers, vehicles will be undertaken by the end of the second quarter.

Project Objectives:

To assist the primary education system in Kandahar to become functional

Key Achievements:

MOUs with the authorities have been signed and a good working relationship with the Education directorate has been established. Education Specialists and Social organizers have been employed.

Afghan Crisis Relief Programme 2001 (A CRP 2001) Phase II (Afghanistan)

Project Summary:

In view of the changing situation in Afghanistan, the International Aid Community has undertaken various initiatives to: repatriate Afghan refugees; to return internally displaced people (1DPs) to their place of origin and to arrest further dispalcement. UNHCR has assisted the voluntary repatriation of over 200,000 Afghans and IOM with various other partner NGOs is assisting the return of 1DPs from Maslak camp (Peshawar).

This project aims to further increase the return momentum by ensuring a multi-sectoral approach and is thus providing return incentives to 1DPs that are currently hosted in camps in the Kandahar province, including Spin Boldak and Panjwai.

Islamic Relief s DFID funded refugee programme in Baluchistan will come to an end in April 2002. With the influx of Afghans being far less than that was anticipated, IR. has in store 1500 tents, 20,000 quilts, 2000 kitchen sets and 10,000 hygiene kits. The distribution of these items inside Afghanistan will form the bulk of the programme. Other much needed procurement of material for reconstruction of dwellings or re-habilitation of the water supply system will be done through the cash component remaining as part of this project.

The main beneficiaries will be 1,500 vulnerable families (10,500 persons) displaced by fear of return and drought. In particular, the ongoing food, tents, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, water supply, and reconstruction material should ensure that 1DP immediate needs are met as well as creating the necessary preconditions for a return movement.

Project Objectives:

The project will provide Non-Food Items (NFIs) to the 1DPs and will facilitate return of refugees/ 1DPs to their native localities in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, in Southern Afghanistan.

Beneficiary Profile

Name: Shamsuddin (Injured)
Village: Daroon Zow
District: Sarh Bagh
Province: Samangan
Family members: 11

18-year-old Shamsuddin belongs to the village of Daroon Zow. One of the victims of the earthquake that shook the northern region on 3rd March he doesn't remember much about the day. He says, " All I remember is the noise and the falling rocks". He grabbed one of the trees in a desperate effort to save his life and then lost consciousness. The rescue workers found him in rubble clinging to the tree 300-400 metres away from the place he recalls. IR team on their visit found Shamsuddin and his family staving temporarily at his brother's house as their house was completely destroyed by the landslide.

Name: Qari Abdul Sitar
Village: Daroon Zow
District: Sar Bagh
Province: Samangan
Family members: 8

Qari Abdul Satar was not as lucky as few others who managed to survive the earthquake without any fatality in the family. He lost his six-year-old son Abdul Shakoor in the flood that swept away his house a few meager belongings that he had.

For more information, please contact:

Yousuf Kasujee, Emergency Relief Desk Officer
Islamic Relief, 19 Rea Street South, Birmingham B5 6LB
Tel: 00 44 121 622 0621
E-mail: yousuf@islamic-relief org.uk