World Food Programme assists thousands of families in Takhar ahead of winter

By Muhammad Qasem

An elderly man receives food packages from the World Food Programme (WFP) in Kalfgan district, Takhar province, November 20. [Takhar Rural Rehabilitation and Development Directorate]

An elderly man receives food packages from the World Food Programme (WFP) in Kalfgan district, Takhar province, November 20. [Takhar Rural Rehabilitation and Development Directorate]

TAKHAR -- With the onset of winter, the World Food Programme (WFP) -- in collaboration with relief organisations -- is distributing food and non-food aid to thousands of families in Takhar province, according to local authorities.

The distribution of aid began at the start of November and is ongoing, Samiullah Samimi, a spokesman for Takhar province's Rural Rehabilitation and Development Directorate, told Salaam Times.

Each aid package includes wheat flour, rice, cooking oil, sugar, tea, salt, peas and winter clothing and costs about 4,300 AFN ($50).

"As many as 17,000 families in the capital and seven districts, including Kalafgan, Ishkamish, Chal, Namak Ab, Warsaj, Dasht-e-Qala and Baharak, have received the assistance," Samimi said on November 29.

The assistance was distributed based on a survey conducted by the NGO Shelter for Life in collaboration with the directorate, he said.

The survey "identified more than 60,000 vulnerable families in the capital and 16 districts of Takhar," he added.

"The distribution of relief aid to poor and needy families continues according to the plan, and by the end of the current solar year [in March], all surveyed families will be covered by the United Nations [the WFP]," said Samimi.

"As winter approaches, most internally displaced families ... are facing hardships. We are trying to immediately provide aid to these families," he said.

Difficult days

Families have welcomed the assistance, saying that the onset of winter has led to fears over food shortages and their children’s survival.

Abdul Ahmad, 63, a resident of Taloqan city, the provincial capital, who received the WFP aid package, is a day labourer and the breadwinner for his family.

Ahmad said he spends all day looking for work but often comes home empty handed.

When he does find work, he said has to survive on a day's income of 300–400 AFN ($3.50–$4.60) until his next job.

"The assistance will help us through three months of winter. But I still have to work to make some money because we will need it for other expenses like covering the expenses of treating an illness," said Ahmad.

Zabiullah, a 52-year-old resident of Taloqan and also a day labourer, said that he is happy that he can now feed his children with the aid he received.

"It is very difficult to feed my family with day labourer income. As winter approaches, the prices of food and fuel items are increasing every day," Zabiullah said.

He can find work only once or twice a week, he said.

Although winter has not started yet, the price of 7kg of wood has risen from 90 AFN ($1) to 100 AFN ($1.15) from more than a year ago. The price of 7kg of coal has also gone up, from 35 AFN ($0.40) to 65 AFN ($0.75), he said.

Unprecedented hunger

The assistance provided by relief organisations is now more vital than ever before, say Takhar residents.

Poverty, unemployment and food insecurity have caused an unprecedented increase in hunger in Afghanistan, Ezatullah Rahimi, 37, a resident of Taloqan city, told Salaam Times.

"There is a dire need for assistance ... because many people, especially children and the elderly, are at greater risk of starvation and have nothing to survive on," he said.

"The assistance provided by the relief organisations, especially those within the United Nations, is timely and very effective. Most families had nothing to eat and would have faced starvation if such help had not been provided," he said.

Relief organisations should support vulnerable families without exclusion; otherwise, they will face starvation in the upcoming winter, said Rahimi.

Do you like this article?

3 Comment

Comment Policy * Denotes required field 1500 / 1500

A very severe winter is coming in Afghanistan, while the people's economic situation is terrible. In Afghanistan, consumption increases in summer and winter, as people in many areas need fuel for winter. This situation is a tragedy in itself that, on the one hand, the expenses are increasing, and on the other hand, the economy is weak. No fundamental work was done in the past 20 years when the international community brought in billions of dollars. Of course, if the internationals bring any money to Afghanistan, they either take it back or hand it over to Afghan thieves. There was no such factory or other basic work for the nation where they would work today and get sustenance for their families. Afghans are grateful for the international humanitarian aid provided through WFP. Still, we hope the international community will do basic things for Afghans to free them from poverty and need.


You have made the people beg. You truly help people out of human compassion, but the same help you gave does not last one month. Suppose it has been two months. What will they do then? Should they beg? Should they steal? What should they do so that the children of these people do not remain hungry? If you want to help these people, you may better spend the money of the aid you give to thousands of families on a project that will benefit them for at least five years. Don't make it a long-term job. And if long-term work is not good for Afghans, in your opinion, build small businesses for five hundred families instead of a thousand families. For example, buy a soup cart and materials for a person and tell him to keep part of the earnings he gets to buy more material for the next day, use the net income he gets, and spend it on his family expenses. In the same way, provide other people with other tasks so that they don't run daily to addresses like that of your organization and do not lose their honor. Thanks


The World Food Program helped 17,000 families in Takhar province. The aid costing $50 or AFN 4,300 is never enough for a family for 3 months of winter. The people of Afghanistan live in difficult conditions of poverty. In Afghanistan, there is no work at all, there is no source of money, how can a family spend 3 months of winter on a 4-liter bottle of oil. It is true that it can be enough for a family’s 10 to 15 days’ expenses, but we have no right over the World Food Organization, we have the right over our government. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan should provide a working environment for its people, so that the people can prepare food that needed for their family. Basic food aid for the people of Afghanistan from the United Nations or a foreign organization can solve a family's problems for just a few days. My opinion is that the current government of Afghanistan, in cooperation with foreign organizations, should begin work on the canals of Afghanistan in all provinces of Afghanistan as soon as possible so that our dry plains become agricultural lands and this way we can prepare food for ourselves. Work should start on Afghanistan's infrastructure to create an equal working environment for the people. Think about the necessity of these things in a family that the World Food Program has helped. As long as the people of Afghanistan not be just to their homeland, they will not get rid of begging. The people of Afghanistan are not honest to their homeland and they have not