Reference : V-P-AF-E-01390
Date : 09/10/2008
Country/Region : AFGHANISTAN
Caption : Kunduz province, Khan Abad district. Preparing the food distribution.
Photographer : SWEETING, Ash
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : CR Royaume-Uni
Description : 6-10-2008 ICRC News release 08/183
Afghanistan: Over 200,000 people to receive aid
Geneva/Kabul (ICRC) – Hundreds of thousands of Afghans may have to leave their homes this winter because of drought, insecurity and rising food prices in the north of the country, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned today.

The organization said it was working with the Afghan Red Crescent Society to meet the needs of 280,000 people (40,000 families) in eight districts of the northern and north-western provinces of Kunduz, Balkh, Faryab and Badghis by distributing around 5,000 metric tonnes (500 truckloads) of food.

One villager from Dashte Archi district in Kunduz province said that the current drought is so severe that "from the 100 sers planted, we could not even harvest 25 sers" (one ser is equal to seven kilograms). Some of the villagers went through with the harvest only to obtain fodder for their livestock.

''If we don’t get food to these people quickly, they might be forced to leave their homes in the dead of winter," said Franz Rauchenstein, the head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan.

Afghan Red Crescent Society volunteers will deliver food parcels containing rice, beans, ghee, salt, white sugar and tea in two rounds to people living in the most affected areas. The beneficiaries were chosen on the basis of need by the Society’s survey teams. The first distribution will take place before the onset of winter, the second in early 2009. "Our volunteers are doing an extraordinary job. They find it very rewarding to be able to help people and relieve some of their anxiety about the approach of winter," said Fatima Gailani, the president of the Afghan Red Crescent.

The ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organization. It has been helping the war wounded and people displaced by armed conflict or natural disasters in Afghanistan since 1987. It delivers its humanitarian aid in the country in cooperation with the Afghan Red Crescent Society, which has a grassroots network of over 20,000 volunteers.

In 2007 the Afghan Red Crescent Society provided food and other assistance to more than 500,000 families, and health services to around one million individuals. The Society carries out its humanitarian work in all provinces of the country.

Original material : digital
Resolution : 3600x2400
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour