Caritas launches appeal as harsh winter looms in Afghanistan
23 October 2009
Caritas is appealing for US$2,977,520 (€ 2 million) to help Afghans combat the ongoing effects of droughts and floods as well as preparing them for the imminent harsh winter.
The appeal will provide immediate relief through food aid and employment programmes. It will also help families decrease their vulnerability through training, community projects and sponsoring greenhouses and providing essential items such as tools, seeds and fertiliser. The project aims to directly support 60,000 people in the provinces of Bamyan, Ghor and Herat.
Caritas will also support Afghan communities through women’s livelihoods projects, snow clearing and through the construction of irrigation structures and roads.
“Often overlooked in discussions on Afghanistan is the widespread poverty and vulnerability. Regular natural and man-made shocks can push poor families and whole communities to the brink of survival. Families adopt negative strategies to survive, which undermine future efforts, and lead to a steady decline for those involved,” said Scott Braunschweig, Catholic Relief Services (a US member of Caritas) Kabul representative.
Years of drought and a severe winter in 2008 have devastated communities in western and central Afghanistan. This combined with the food and economic crises, has left many families in need. Households in farming communities have borrowed money and sold off assets such as cattle and sheep to cope with the crises.
Caritas surveys in the past few months have shown the majority of families in these rural communities remain heavily in debt and on average hold less than half the livestock that they had two years ago.
Severe winter weather in Afghanistan can leave people cut off from help. In such cases, they also may sell cattle and tools to buy food to keep them from going hungry.
The Caritas programme aims to sustain and help rebuild rural communities affected by the drought and the severe winter leading up to the harvest next year.
For more information, please contact Michelle Hough on +39 06 69879721/+39 334 2344136 or firstname.lastname@example.org