Thank you for supporting the Afghanistan Emergency Appeal and for asking MPs to increase humanitarian aid and find ways for people to resettle here.
With the start of winter, the situation has worsened. The tents most families are living in are not equipped for the winter so many people, especially children and vulnerable adults are at risk of falling sick.
Community World Service Asia a member of ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) staff are working hard to assist displaced families find the help they need and where they can, support schools and provide healthcare in Afghanistan.
The situation is challenging, but staff are very worried about what will happen to families this winter.
“They don’t know what to prioritise now – food or winter essentials. It’s a tough situation,” says Community World Service.
Early this week the IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) reported people are ‘experiencing spiralling levels of acute food insecurity affecting nearly 19 million people’. 6.8 million are classified as at level 4 and the numbers are expected to rise from now until March 2022, the lean season. Drought, the collapse of public services, a severe economic crisis and increasing food prices are the main drivers of hunger.
Fortunately the banking situation has improved allowing the withdrawal of US$25,000 a month. There are currently no restrictions on bank transfers so since early October, Community World Service has been able to distribute the first tranche of cash transfers to 660 displaced families. Eligible families are headed by women who have the correct identification and are registered with the Directorate of Refugees and Repatriation as well as lacking financial resources.
“We are facing an uncertain future. Can we trust the new government on women’s rights? The answer now is that it does not matter much. The new government has swept back to power, and dealing with them is the reality, again, for Afghan women and girls,” a humanitarian worker in Afghanistan continued.
“Afghanistan is confronting an epic humanitarian crisis and is on the verge of a development catastrophe”, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres told Foreign Ministers of neighbouring countries yesterday.
CWS has been receiving regular reports on the situation in Afghanistan and the plight of people who need to leave the country because of their involvement with New Zealand forces or because their lives are in danger. It is participating in a national advocacy network focusing on providing more humanitarian assistance and immigration issues.
Last week the Government reported a further 11 citizens had made it to Qatar but 1,100 people with visas were stuck in Afghanistan. We believe the New Zealand Government can and must do more.
Donations to the Afghanistan Appeal will help more families get the assistance they need to get them through this winter.
October 28, 2021