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Thursday, February 23, 2017
Massive food shipment reaches Afghan families
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┬áCAFOD, together with Caritas Internationalis, has just distributed 300 tonnes of vital food items to 50,000 people in the Hazarajat region west of Kabul, Afghanistan. The distribution was the second of a three-phase distribution programme to help 120,000 people feed themselves in the coming weeks. Food is being provided to the residents of the city of Herat, in the far west of the country, and in the Wardak province, home to much of the country's Hazara population. Caritas representative, Jersey Seipel, was at the Wardak distribution and says the food is desperately needed. "This was an emergency food supply to people in conditions of extreme hardship. Life is very tough for these families. They have to labour all day in the fields for very little return. There is still a drought in the area and the harvest looks as though it is going to fail. It is a daily battle for the people who live here to survive, many of the children are clearly malnourished." Each family was given a 100kg sack of wheat, 5 bars of soap and a 50 kg sack of lentils. Families with small children were also provided with milk powder. Two communities targeted for Caritas food aid, Besuj one and Besuj two, are situated 3000 metres above sea level. During the day temperatures climb to 35░C, at night they drop to 5░C. The harsh winds that whip across the exposed mountainous area only add to the discomfort of the people living there. Many of them have to walk for miles to get water, and can only carry enough for basic domestic use. Water is desperately needed for irrigation, but carrying the amount necessary is out of the question. Life in the region is so hard that many people have abandoned their homes and headed for Pakistan, Iran, or the Afghan capital, Kabul. In villages where once more than 600 people lived, today only 60 or so residents remain. Jersey Seipel commented: "This is hostile terrain, people struggle day in, day out to survive. Although these are technically classified as agricultural regions, there's barely enough grazing for a single goat." Those targeted for the distribution include widows, disabled people and the very poor.
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