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Afghanistan: Kabul residents complain about uneven distribution of aid

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 07 Jan 2022

Afghanistan: Kabul residents complain about uneven distribution of aid

Image credit: OCHA/Pierre Peron

Kabul: Residents of Kabul city have complained they are witnessing “unfair distribution” of aid.

They said the aid was not provided to the vulnerable people who need it. 

“Let the aid be continued. But it should be given to people who deserve it,” Ghulam Nabi, a resident of Kabu, told Tolo News.

“No one has given us anything,” Abdul Muttalib, another resident of Kabul, told the news portal.

“When we ask for aid—they tell us to wait, but I haven’t received anything yet,” said Rahim, another resident. 

  UN humanitarians warned on Tuesday that a harsh winter in Afghanistan is aggravating already severe conditions faced by millions across the country.

In the past 24 hours, heavy snowfall and rain have impacted a number of areas, disrupting flights to and from Kabul Airport, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“Further snow and low temperatures are forecast in the coming days”, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told journalists at the daily briefing for correspondents in New York.

Scaling up

An already dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan worsened following the takeover by Taliban forces last August, and the subsequent suspension of aid, coupled with freezing of assets by many countries and international organisations.

Late last month, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution clearing the way for aid to reach Afghans in desperate need of basic support, while preventing funds from falling into the hands of the Taliban, a move welcomed by the head of OCHA as a “milestone” decision that will save lives.

Meanwhile, humanitarian partners are racing against time to deliver aid and supplies – in line with commitments to scale up operations.

“During December, our humanitarian partners have reached seven million people with relief food supplies across the country”, said Dujarric.

“Provision of winterization support, including cash and non-food items, is also under way in various parts of the country”.

In 2021, donors provided $1.5 billion for two humanitarian appeals, including $776 million of the $606 million required for the Flash Appeal launched in September by the Secretary-General, and $730 million of the $869 million sought in the Humanitarian Response Plan.

Raising concerns

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has expressed its continuing concern for the millions of internally-displaced in Afghanistan while the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, is scaling up its response to disseminate timely winterization assistance – particularly to the most vulnerable of displaced families.

UNHCR said that it is providing ongoing multipurpose cash assistance to meet their immediate needs for warmth, and security.

“Sustained support is critical”, the agency tweeted.

At the same time, Ezatullah Noori, the national emergency coordinator for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Afghanistan, pointed out that this is the third season of drought in five years.

“If we don't support the agricultural sector in time, we will lose an essential pillar of the Afghan economy”, he warned.