Afghanistan

Snow in Kabul fails to halt Salvation Army winter relief programme

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The snow which fell in Kabul, Afghanistan, over the last weekend of January was good news for a city in great need of water but very bad news for hundreds of families currently taking refuge in the city's derelict ruins. A relief team from The Salvation Army's International Emergency Services continues to provide support and, in the last few days alone, 600 families have received urgently-needed food rations.
A varied food parcel containing 50 kgs flour, 20 kgs rice, 5 kgs sugar, 5 kgs beans, 1 kg tea and 5 litres of oil, was given to each family. Working closely with the Deputy Mayor of Kabul, the relief team was also able to identify 400 families which were each given two pillows, one warm quilt and a foam mattress.

Elizabeth Hayward (International Emergency Field Operations Officer) reports: 'Distributions went smoothly and families appreciated this valuable assistance. Next Sunday we will deliver soap and clothes to about 450 widows and their families and the families of disabled men in the village of Buthaq, about 18 kilometres outside Kabul.'

In addition to the winter relief provision, team leader Major Ivor Telfer reports a novel programme to assist young girls, who were previously not given the opportunity to attend school. The Salvation Army is providing stoves and fuel and repairing schools to allow them to open during the traditional winter holiday break. One hundred and eighty five teachers have been temporarily employed in four secondary schools in Kabul and one school in Buthaq. More than 5,500 girls will enjoy the opportunity for schooling and education during the next two months.

The projects described here are being implemented in close cooperation with the Kabul authorities and in partnership with local Afghan non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The Emergency Services Section at The Salvation Army's International Headquarters havs released more than $100,000 in support of these initiatives, though with greater funding, even more could be done.

Major Cedric Hills
International Emergency Services Coordinator