Need for aid grows for displaced Afghans in Herat as winter looms

By Omar

With the arrival of colder weather, international aid organisations have increased their assistance to save Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from hunger in the winter in Herat province. [Omar/Salaam Times]

HERAT -- With the arrival of colder weather, international aid organisations have increased their assistance to save internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Herat province from hunger.

The World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC), Norwegian Council, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) are the main aid providers to the IDPs in Herat.

Global aid agencies have assisted 22,837 IDP families in the past nine months in Herat, said Abdul Ghafoor Jalali, a manager at the Herat Department of Refugees and Repatriations.

"Each family received assistance worth 23,000 AFN ($260), which includes cash, food and clothing," he said.

Children at a refugee camp in the eastern part of Herat city gather around a fire on December 6 to warm themselves. [Omar/Salaam Times]

Children at a refugee camp in the eastern part of Herat city gather around a fire on December 6 to warm themselves. [Omar/Salaam Times]

"Winter assistance for the IDPs will start in a few days," he added. "International aid agencies have promised to increase their assistance to the families in need."

IDPs rely heavily on aid, and without it, their life will get even worse, Jalali said.

According to data from the Herat Department of Refugees and Repatriations, more than 5,000 families from Badghis, Faryab and Ghor provinces were displaced to Herat in over a year.

These IDPs live on the outskirts of Herat city in tents and mud huts that they have built themselves.

Need for more assistance

With the winter approaching, life for IDPs in Herat has become even more challenging.

IDPs need firewood to keep their tents and huts warm as well as food to feed their families.

Bismillah, 66, a resident of Shahrak district, Ghor province, was displaced to Herat a year ago.

"With the cold weather, our life has become very difficult. We do not have money to buy food for our children or firewood to warm up our houses," he added. "There are no jobs that would let us earn a living for our family, either."

Bismillah called on aid organisations to increase their assistance to IDPs.

"If we do not receive more assistance this winter and the weather gets colder, a humanitarian catastrophe could take place in the IDP camp," he said.

His children have been suffering from pneumonia, he said.

"Our children are ill, and we do not have money to take them to the doctor," he added.

Abdul Ghafoor, 46, a resident of Ghormach district, Faryab province, who was displaced to Herat six months ago along with his family of six, said his house is cold and his children are sick.

"Aid organisations have provided assistance to us, but we need more," he said. "We received food and cash in three phases, but that is not sufficient for my family's expenditures."

"We stay awake many nights from the cold. We burn plastic to warm up my children, but it turns cold right after the fire goes out. The fumes from burning plastic have made us all ill," he added.

His children do not have enough dry bread to eat, and they need more humanitarian assistance in winter, he said.

"I borrowed 2,000 AFN ($23) from my neighbour and took my sick child to the hospital," he added. "Our children will die if we do not get more assistance in this cold winter."

Children at risk

Ghafoor and Bismillah's children are not the only ones who are sick, as the children of IDPs face increasing cold and hunger.

Fatima, 10, who lives in a tent in Herat city with her parents, younger brother and two sisters, is sick.

Her family does not have a heater or warm blankets for the cold nights, she said.

"Nights are very cold. Many nights we cannot sleep," she said. "My younger brother has pneumonia."

"We shiver ... the whole night under a thin blanket. My wish is to have a heater at home so that nights would be warmer and we could sleep well," Fatima said.

Ibrahim, 11, an IDP, said his family's tent is very cold during the night, and they do not have food to eat.

"We don't have a heater to warm ourselves up with. We cannot sleep well at night because of the cold weather," he said. "We wake up in the middle of the night ... and cannot go back to sleep."

"We build a fire in the middle of the night in our tent to warm ourselves up. But when the fire goes out, it turns cold again," he added. "We do not have firewood to warm up our tent; we burn plastic to warm it up."

Instead of sleeping at night, he is forced to sleep during the day under the sun when it is a bit warmer, Ibrahim said.

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In order to know it precisely, it is necessary that the WFP officials increase the number of its employees. One of the wishes of the poor people is that the right be handed over to the eligible people. As I see, the poor people were left out from the WFP list. Whoever has a relationship, the material will be given to the same person. Other than that, in the villages the (maliks/village elders) are very cruel people. They are very skillful in stealing.... It is hoped that this type of people will be idetntified. It is the same people who eat the rights of strangers and nothing reaches to the displaced people and strangers.


So far, I haven't seen the attached video in the news, but it is clear from the picture that it is very painful news. This picture shows the oppression of Afghans in the 21st century. This picture has many words in itself. This image can be called a blow to America's allies under the United States leadership. They came to Afghanistan under the leadership of NATO and non-NATO to eliminate terrorists and help Afghans. I think both these claims were utterly false. Here in Afghanistan, the war continued for 20 years, and after 20 years of war, America left the Afghans in an unknown fate, and they left. Even the system built by their hands was destroyed. Another thing is that this image of helping Afghans is a good example. This means that the life of Afghans has not changed from what it was 20 years ago. We are not saying that the level of change is zero, but most of the changes we see in Afghanistan are personal. Basic work has not been done for Afghans. From the point of view of aid, a country like Afghanistan could be built twice with the aid received, but unfortunately, in Afghanistan, aid was not given to the people but to thieves and robbers. They used to withdraw the same donated money from Afghanistan and buy palaces for themselves and their children in Turkey and other countries. Well, it's not too late. We request the international community to come together and lend a helping hand.


It has been a year and a half since the fall of the republic. From the very first day, the international community and relief organizations have announced a lot of aid to the people of Afghanistan, but there has been no positive change in the lives of Afghans, and Afghans have remained poor and unfortunate. Right now, if these humanitarian aid are cut off, half of Afghans may starve to death. In my opinion, the main reason as Afghans are not free from the needs of others is that they have only worked on projects that give people free bread and money, and this has made people lazy. Therefore, it is good that long-term projects are considered so that both Afghans can get rid of the need and the international community can calm down from the troubles of the Afghan people. Thanks


He was active during Ghani's rule and was promoted to Deputy Director of the National Security Council and President Ghani's advisor. The first deputy of the republican system, Amrullah Saleh, was not in the government then and was one of his critics, who once said mockingly: "A known spy of Pakistan is the deputy in the office of the National Security Council." Mr. Juraat also announced a movement called "The process of protecting the values of Jihad and resistance" he had a television in the name of Afghanistan and performed many other activities, during which suicide attacks were carried out from the relevant office in Jalalabad. Claims of the possession of the vests were published. Deen Mohammad Juraat was also considered one of Pakistan's biggest visa dealers until the Taliban re-established their rule. He went to Panjshir for a short time after the Taliban returned to power and became one of the prominent figures of the Panjshir Resistance Front with the support of Ahmad Masoud. Some people later accused Juraat of the said front of handing over Panjshir to the Taliban. This is at a time as, a day before yesterday, Taliban's emir Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, in a meeting with some religious scholars and philanthropists of Panjsher, thanked the Taliban for handing over Panjsher. Taand tried to talk to General Jourat and some Taliban sources about the targeted killings of Taliban forces but failed. --- It means that Pakistan's intelligence agency has supported the Taliban


On the one hand, Afghans are facing a deadly harsh winter, and on the other hand, the enemies of Afghans and Afghanistan are making new plans to kill the Afghans. You can see today's report: A famous commander of the Northern Alliance, General Deen Mohammad Juraat, who the opponents already accused of having secret relations with Pakistan, in a recent report is accused that Pakistan is handling a new project of target killings against the Taliban forces. In a report published in this regard, it is claimed that Pakistani intelligence has entrusted General Jurat with the leadership of the section called (Yaka Ghodol), which is about 50 km from Peshawar Saddar Bazar, where about 1000 young men are being trained to launch target killings against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The said center has claimed that 35 years ago, the Pakistan Intelligence Service handed over the responsibility to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, head of Hizb-e-Islami, and he was being used to kill Pakistan's target people. This accusation was made against General Juraat when it was said that in recent days around 15 Taliban forces have been killed in targeted attacks by unknown people, and no one is taking responsibility. About General Juraat: General Juraat, one of the famous former commanders of Hizb-e-Islami under the leadership of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, was later a supporter of the Nazar Shura established by Ahmad Shah Masood. During the interim government led by Hamid Karzai, when Yunus Qani was the Minister o


This winter is more challenging than the previous ones. There is no work for the people, and there are many diseases. Diseases are high because rainfall has decreased in Afghanistan this year and last year. The dust has made the air very bad. Every house is full of sick people, and people's economy does not demand that they visit doctors for this treatment. This organization, which you mentioned in detail, helps internally displaced persons; besides the aid, it has also hired medical teams to provide health services and educate them.


These displaced people of Ghor, Faryab and Badghis provinces may stay in Herat province for many years. Although the United Nations, a foreign organization, UNICEF, WFP, and UNICEF have provided a lot of assistance to the displaced people of Herat province, there has been no difference in their lives. These displaced people sell the materials that are donated by the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations in many markets at a small price. When I saw the tents at the intersection of Qambar in Kabul province, I observed that all the illegal and illegitimate activities are committed by the children of these displaced people. And they have been living here for almost 20 years and asking for help from the United Nations. And nothing different has happened in their lives. Similarly, it is the same in Bagrami textile camp and cheap camp of Bagrami district and other camps. The first thing that these displaced people should do is to prevent the large number of their children. The United Nations should transfer these to their respective provinces and provide assistance in the same provinces. This prevents the descendants of these displaced people from engaging in illegal activities. It is peaceful in Afghanistan. Why are they displaced? If they have been displaced due to poverty, the United Nations should provide the same assistance in their province. This is my opinion.