Case Story ERDRR-East Region

We will soon face a disaster” – Bibi, a 40-year-old widowed mother of 10 in Nangahar

Caption: Bibi and her family in their home in Nangahar province, Eastern Afghanistan.

Credit: OCHR

Project Name: Preparedness and Resilience to Address the Impact of C19-Suppot IDP Communities in Nangarhar.

Donor Organization: Christian Aid-Afghanistan.

Implementing Partner: OCHR (Organization for Coordination of Humanitarian Relief).

Date and Address: Dec 29, 2021 (Moy Mubarak village in Surkhrod district, Nangarhar-Afghanistan).

Case study -Providing food aids to Crises Affected and struggling families in Nangahar, Afghanistan.

Mrs. Aram Bi-Bi one of the local residents of Moy Mubarak village in Surkhrod district, who is a widow she is faced with acute hunger/harsh conditions. Being a mother of Two children she is very happy with receiving the OCHR/CAID large food package (aides). She is present in the distribution point to receive her food package; she has answered to some of our questions as follows;

All answers provided by the beneficiary are recorded as direct quotes with extra supporting documents (Photos).

East Region Nangarhar- Afghanistan:

 

Over half a million people in Nangahar province– approximately a quarter of the population are currently at risk of famine. Christian Aid’s local partner OCHR (Organisation for Coordination and Humanitarian Relief) has provided food packages containing items including flour, rice, cooking oil, pulses sugar and salt to 500 particularly vulnerable families living in two districts of the province.

One of the families supported is the family of Bibi, a 40-year-old married mother of 10 who lives in a rented dilapidated house in Surkh Rod district, Nangahar. The family have lived there since 2013 after they were forced to flee fighting in their hometown in Hesarak district in western Nangarhar.

To try help the family get by her children would load bricks onto a truck at a local brick factory, earning between 40-80 afghanis a day (equivalent to €0.30-€0.60). But for a family of 12, this was not enough to cover the cost of buying enough food for them to eat.

“In the last few months, we have faced severe hunger. We haven’t had any flour and food for two weeks. I boil low-quality rice to feed my children,” Bibi says.

As Bibi explains, things have since gotten worse for her family. The brick factory has stopped operating which has left them without any money for weeks and they are struggling to pay rent and to afford food and cover other basic expenses.

“We have no warm clothes for winter. We don’t have enough food in our home. We are living in poverty. We don’t have any furniture to sell to pay for food,” Bibi says.

As well as lacking enough money to pay for food Bibi is also unable to pay for vital medicine for her family.

My mother in-law is suffering from asthma and my son is suffering from bronchitis. We cannot afford any kind of treatment.”

Unable to meet these costs, the family have looked to other solutions as a last resort.

Even when suffering serious illnesses, we cannot afford the doctor’s fee. So, we boil leaves to make a homemade medicine for me and my children,” she says.

Afghanistan is facing an economic crisis which has increased the cost of food at the market, pushing many basics beyond their reach.

We only eat one meal a day to survive, and that is usually just bread with green tea. Sometimes we can afford to buy turnips and cauliflowers, not every day but some days. I can cook rice, beans, meat but we are very poor and so we haven’t had these for months,” Bibi says.

Bibi’s family were one of 500 vulnerable families (reaching around 3.500 people) who received support from Christian Aid’s local partner, who have focused on reaching vulnerable families with pregnant and new mothers, widows, those suffering from a chronic illness and malnourished children. Bibi’s family also received a hygiene kit containing items including soap and facemasks as well as a high energy food package tailored to support families with children under five years old.

This really helped us a lot. It felt like we survived from a dark night to a bright day,” Bibi says.

However, the family are still struggling to get by and Bibi worries for what may lie ahead.

“We are worried that tonight we will go to sleep hungry. I am very scared and worried for our future. We have no warm clothes for the winter. Our situation is getting worse day by day. Poverty and famine have conquered the whole country. We will soon face a disaster.”

Interviewer: Mrs. Nazia (Community Mobilizer/Hygiene promoter-OCHR).

Interviewee: Mrs. Aram Bi-Bi.

Translator: Ahmad Taha Nesar.