Reference : V-P-AF-E-02637
Date : 06/10/2018
Country/Region : AFGHANISTAN
Caption : Badakhshan Province, Faizabad. Safar, who was a soldier, was injured by gunshot during a military operation. He got paraplegia due to spinal cord injury and was not able to return to his job. He came to the ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Centre, then benefited from the social reintegration programme. He received a microcredit and started a small business. Now he is baking breads at home and taking them by his wheelchair to local market for selling. He is happy of his job and supports his family through his business income.
Photographer : QUILTY, Andrew
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : Every morning, when the sun has not already risen above the muddy streets of Faizabad, the small capital city of Badakhshan, in north-east Afghanistan, Safar leaves his modest house to reach the bazar. His 12 years old son rolling his wheelchair. Opening the way, the eldest son pushes a wheelbarrow loaded with bread, cooked two hours earlier by Safar, his wife and daughters. This is the family’s daily routine since Safar got shot on the spine while he was demonstrating on the streets, six years ago. “I still dream of walking”, he confesses using as often as he can his crutches. No matter how tiring it is for him to stand and drag his feet one after the other, he always tries, expecting some kind of miracle. The baker spent all his money for medical treatment. The bakery he was running before he got injured went bankrupt. He finally got funds through the ICRC microcredit programme to start his business again. Buy flour and a wheelbarrow to go to the bazar every day to sell the traditional round Afghan bread. “People’s insults in the streets hurt me so much”, he says while explaining some people do not call him by his name, but use an insulting nickname. “Life is hard here for disabled people because no one cares about us in the country”, he whispers.

ICRC website photo gallery, 23.01.2019 :

It's been 30 years since the ICRC launched its Physical Rehabilitation Programme in Afghanistan. Today, there are seven specialized limb-fitting centres run by the organization that cater to the needs of almost 178 000 disabled citizens. Despite the reality that they will need physical rehabilitation throughout their lives and that care is going to be hard to come by in this war-torn country, countless Afghans find courage to stand up on their feet again and dream of a better future […].
Over one million people in Afghanistan suffer from some form of physical disability. Four decades of war and its aftermath have left the country with one of the highest rates of disability in the world. From landmines and remnants of war to wounds suffered in conflict, from barely-accessible primary health care to congenital diseases and accidents – all these reasons, and more, have marred the chances of normalcy for thousands of Afghans. Against the grey clouds of despair, many find hope in support provided through the physical rehabilitation centres run by the ICRC. The centres support the physical rehabilitation needs of nearly 178 000 people, including those who became disabled due to disease and war.
Every year, close to 10 000 new Afghans are registered with the ICRC to receive limb-fitting and physical rehabilitation help. Only 10% of them are those who've suffered war-related injuries; the remaining 90% became disabled due to a congenital condition, disease or accident. Poor access to preventive and primary health care affect one-third of this number – a huge cost paid by a nation that's already suffering due to decades of conflict. Afghanistan is one of only three countries in the world with ongoing wild poliovirus transmission, alongside Nigeria and Pakistan.
Alberto Cairo, the head of ICRC's rehabilitation programme in Afghanistan, estimates that those in need of a prosthesis or a corrective device are not less than 200 000. One of the world's most mined countries, Afghanistan is also bearing the brunt of anti-personnel landmines. As many as 750 000 people are threatened by the presence of mines and unexploded remnants of war, and over 29 500 of those who've lost a limb due to landmines or other war remnants are undergoing treatment at the ICRC centres.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 8256x5504
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour