Afghanistan and Covid 19
The World Health Organisation is deeply concerned about the effect it is going to have among various populations, especially among malnourished children, which is of particular concern in Afghanistan.
There’s huge uncertainty about Afghanistan’s food supplies. In addition, the country has imposed a stay-at-home order with the closure of many businesses, except food stores, banks and pharmacies, and the shutdown of public transport, leading to fears of unregulated price increases on essentials like flour, rice and oil for the 80% of Afghans who live hand to mouth.
With no welfare system in place, no pensions to speak of, little to no access to even the most basic hygiene facilities like clean water and soap, no bank savings to draw from and no opportunity to earn even the smallest amount of money, Afghanistan’s poorest and most vulnerable are left with the very real threat of starvation and death. Their only alternative would be high-interest loans just to survive.
Quote from World Food Program: “The pandemic is particularly hard on the more than one in four Afghans who rely on day labour and low-income jobs to live. Lock-downs and other measures to stop the spread of the virus threaten to push vulnerable communities deeper into despair.”
Ahmad’s Story (Name changed)
I am a day-labourer which means that every day I have to find work, to earn enough to feed my family. It is very hard to survive, but I am lucky to own my own wheelbarrow. It means that I can earn up to $3.50 in a day. From that, I manage to buy enough food, pay rent and sometimes pay for electricity.
Because of the COVID-19 lock-down, I have lost any chance to work and there is no hope for my family. Despite this, I have to try and earn a little money. I take my wheelbarrow to the market but the police keep chasing me away. No one wants to hire me anyway, they are scared I may have the virus. We all are scared. So what can I do? My family does not have enough food and there is no way we can even think about storing emergency supplies. We have nothing.
But there is hope …
With your help Serve Afghanistan will provide support through food security to 2,340 families, including almost 1,500 children. We have identified the poorest and most vulnerable in the 81 towns and 29 communities where we are based. It is our goal to provide each of these families with 45 days’ worth of food and supplies, helping them to stay as healthy and saving them from the threat of the stranglehold of compounding debt.
$75 will provide each family of with the basic staples for 45 days:
50 kilos of flour, 24 kilos of rice, 2 litres of cooking oil, 3 kilos of red beans, 2 kilos of salt
and 3 cakes of hand-washing soap, to help stop the spread of the virus.
To Donate directly, click here
July 6th Update from SERVE Afghanistan: To date, we have been able to provide 1,095 families with food security. Families like Ferusa’s and Hamid’s. (Names changed)
Ferusa is a widowed mother of six children. Her family was extremely poor, surviving by selling chewing gum and lollies (candy) in the streets. Serve Afghanistan helped Ferusa’s son find work as a labourer and made it possible for her and five daughters to get some extra work, washing clothes and selling handicrafts and for her daughters to go to school. COVID-19 took away all those opportunities and left Ferusa and her family with nothing. They had no money saved and work opportunities vanished. Ferusa’s was one of the first families to receive food security
Hamid is desperately poor. He manages to provide a very simple existence for his wife and five children. It is not enough for a comfortable life but still, Hamid told us, he thanks God daily for
the little he has. COVID-19 has made their lives extremely difficult and his family literally had nothing to eat and no means to change their circumstances. Because his wife and children are involved in Serve Afghanistan’s programmes, our team was made aware of their desperate need and were able to provide Hamid and his family with at least a month’s worth of food security as part of our COVID-19 Relief programme.