January 25th, 2020 ― Doha: The representation mission of Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) in Afghanistan has completed a project to establish a central heating system at the marastoon (asylum) of the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) in Kabul.
Serving the asylum’s 700 inmates, the new central heating system would alleviate their suffering of the cold weather and health consequences in the winter, ensure convenient and humane living conditions, and avoids the risks of traditional ways of heating like fire.
ARCS have five asylums in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Balkh, and Nangarhar. There are plans to establish more asylums in underserved provinces like Kunduz. These humanitarian projects face challenges such as meager resources, inadequate infrastructure, and low living conditions, particularly during the winter.
The opening ceremony was attended by official and community leaders, including Dr. Nilab Mobarez, Secretary-General of ARCS. “This project would improve the living conditions of the inmates, spare them the negative outcomes of using traditional ways of heating,” she said. “It is a healthy and environment friendly project”.
Dr. Mobarez thanked QRCS for making this project a reality, as well as the many other humanitarian projects in diverse sectors across the country.
Dr. Dr Mirwais Akram, Under-Secretary-General of ARCS, thanked QRCS for their contribution to the project, which met the needs of vulnerable persons. He commended the efforts done in this great work and congratulated the beneficiaries for having such a vital demand for a modern heating system achieved.
The war-torn country has experienced recurrent drought, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and other natural disasters that weighed heavily on the already broken-down infrastructure, let alone lack of basic services and mass displacement.
Reports by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) show that Afghanistan is second among 189 countries in terms of limited capacity and resilience. Around 39% of the population live below the poverty line. As a result of the recent waves of refugee return from neighboring countries, over 400,000 returnees need humanitarian aid, according to OCHA’s Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP).
Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between QRCS and ARCS, the two-month project supplied the water boilers, pumps, power generators, metal radiators, logistics, and other equipment.
The heating unit facility is divided into two sections, one for the boilers and the other for the generator. Underground steam cycle pipes were extended to all the rooms and corridors of the accommodation buildings.
Amin M. Afdal, an inmate with an 8-member family, was so excited because her kids would finally feel warm during the freezing season. She expressed her grateful thanks to the donors and personnel who secured heating for them.
Also, there is Bahram Nour-ul-Din, a 12-year-old from Takhar. He lives with another four children at the same room. “I am very happy with this,” he chirped. “The room used to be filled up with smoke from the burning wood, and we would become ill. Thank you QRCS for your care. I wish to have those things of sports and playing, too”.
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About Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS)
Established in 1978, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is a humanitarian volunteering organization that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination.
QRCS is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 191 National Societies. QRCS is also a member of several GCC, Arab, and Islamic organizations, such as the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization (ARCO). In this legally recognized capacity, QRCS has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts — a role that distinguishes it from other local charities and NGOs.
QRCS operates both locally and internationally and has ongoing international relief and development projects in a number of countries throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. QRCS's humanitarian actions include providing support in disaster preparedness, disaster response, risk reduction, and disaster recovery. To mitigate the impact of disasters and improve the livelihoods of affected populations, QRCS provides medical services, healthcare, and social development to local communities. It is also active at the humanitarian advocacy front. With the help of a vast network of trained, committed staff and volunteers, QRCS aspires to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.
QRCS works under the umbrella of the seven international humanitarian principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.