The situation in Afghanistan remains precarious. According to the latest UN estimates, more than 95% of Afghans will soon be living below the poverty line.* More than 680,000 people have been internally displaced since the change of Government among which 59% are children under 18 years. Rising levels of hunger and outbreaks in refugee camps continue to overwhelm struggling health services. On top of that, the harsh winter over the past few months has further exacerbated people’s lack of access to food.
But because of all of our wonderful donors around the world, Hagar has been able to respond! Hagar has been one of the few NGOs on the ground that have been permitted to provide humanitarian support at this time.
- Hagar staff in Afghanistan have successfully obtained approval from the new Government to start providing practical assistance
- Approximately 20,800 vulnerable people in Afghanistan have benefitted from Hagar’s Emergency Response so far
- Thousands of the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan have benefitted from Hagar’s distribution of food parcels. Each food parcel could fed a family of 8 for one month
- With temperatures dropping to below freezing over Winter, Hagar provided warm blankets, clothing and children’s shoes to vulnerable families (the majority of which are living in camps for Internally Displaced People – IDP). Approximately 7,752 people have benefitted from this winter support.
- 7 Child-friendly spaces were created across different IDP camps to provide education and recreation where children could continue to learn and play without fear and worry. 332 children, now have somewhere to receive a basic education, counselling support and have fun
Hagar is also in the process of beginning to offer healthcare services in one of the most vulnerable areas in Afghanistan
“In the previous government, I served in the Afghanistan local police, where I worked for 16 years. One day while on duty, I was hit by a mortar and lost both of my legs. Luckily after that I received a pension for a while, but when the government suddenly collapsed, I lost my pension. Now the Taliban government is not giving us a pension and we find ourselves in a very bad situation. My children are too young to work and I am disabled. I was forced to start begging to support my family. At this sensitive time when most of Afghanis are facing difficulties and are unable to meet their daily needs, Hagar’s assistance is truly appreciated. We are very grateful to Hagar…”
Lal Gul, recipient of Hagar food hamper
We don’t just want to provide emergency relief to meet immediate needs. We also want to make sure that in the long-term, the people of Afghanistan have the ability to earn an income and provide for themselves. We want to take the next steps towards seeing the precious people of Afghanistan living lives where they thrive and are not reliant on temporary emergency aid. Our heart is to transition from emergency response to long-term development.
Going forward, the Hagar Afghanistan team are hoping to implement three new projects to help our existing beneficiaries transition into independence:
- Poverty Reduction and Livelihood Project: The new livelihood programme will enable families to start earning an income of at least $100 USD a month, that is sufficient to provide basic food for a family of 8, and cover some energy and clothing needs. This will be achieved by organizing the beneficiaries into business cooperatives, establishing cash for work programmes and helping them start small businesses.
- An increase in the number of Child Friendly Spaces: We have seen how our 7 Child-Friendly Spaces have provided not just safety and protection for displaced and at-risk children in the past months but also the opportunity to receive a basic education. The Hagar team are desperate to set up more of these safe spaces in camps for the displaced due to the overwhelming numbers. The Hagar team are also deeply saddened by the number of children that they see on the streets begging for money or food to support their families. These children are at risk of life-long illiteracy and consequent poverty but the immediate needs of their families must be met. Hagar’s heart is to also set up drop-in centres for street children in the coming months in addition to the spaces set up in camps. Children currently roaming the streets begging will be targeted and encouraged to attend these drop in centres where they will receive a basic education and a small food packet to take home to replace what they would have made begging.
- Upliftment Project: In the future, the Hagar team hope to also implement their “Upliftment Project” for women and girls. This project will focus on providing life skills training in a rural area that is known for its high levels of poverty and neglect.
We always knew that our work in Afghanistan was going to be a journey. Now is the time for the next part of it. Would you join us in taking these next steps to build a sustainable future for some of the most vulnerable in Afghanistan?