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With the global spread of Covid-19, regions affected by crisis and severe poverty are being observed closely and with increasing worry. Our project country, Afghanistan has also been hit hard by the pandemic.
After forty years of war, Afghanistan lacks medical care, trained personnel and equipment;the healthcare system is nearly non-existent. Despite the peace treaty between the Taliban and the Afghan government in the Spring of 2020, the Taliban and Afghan armies continue to fight. Both the Taliban as well as the Afghan government publish information regarding Covid-19 which does not help to inform the population. Without even being able to fully understand the situation, many people are confronted with the consequences of the crisis that threaten their very existence.
One of our members, Winuss, reported to us from Herat, where she talked to inhabitants of the refugee camp “Minara“ on March 21st, 2020:
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the day-labourers can’t work anymore. They have neither food reserves nor money. Many of them feel lignored by the government and do not know what all this will come to. Because of the dangerous situation, the GIZ (German Association for International Cooperation) and other international organizations have already left the country. In the town of Herat, nearly all shops are closed. The prices have increased, and, for instance, the price of beans has even doubled.
The refugee camps as well as the streets of Herat are empty, despite Nouroz which is usually celebrated here.”
We reacted immediately, moving up our Ramadan campaign by a month in order to distribute our goods as soon as possible to those in need under these extraordinary circumstances: day-labourers, internally displaced individuals and people with impairments.
In the spring of 2020, we have been able to start three emergency relief campaigns in Herat. We have supplied a school for the blind with about 170 pupils, a training center for those who were wounded in war or by IED with 82 trainees and aided the refugee camp “Minara”, which is inhabited by 282 families (refugees from Ghor and the south of Afghanistan), 7 km (4.35 miles) south of the center of Herat.
One box cost about €65 and contained: 50 kg flour (112.75 lb), 6l oil ( 1.58 gal), 1 kg tea (2.255 lb), 5 kg beans (11.27 lb), 10kg rice (22.25 lb), sanitary products ( soap, shampoo) and school supplies (e.g. paper).