The Afghan capital Kabul and most parts of the country have seen more snowfall and higher precipitation this winter than normal. Although the snowfall relieved farmers who have been badly affected by the worst ever drought in Afghanistan in decades, hundreds of families living in tents and makeshift houses in displaced locations and informal settlements were facing worsening conditions. In Kabul, thousands are living without adequate shelter, drinking water, heating materials and warm clothes and footwear. “There were reports of deaths of children and elderly in few of the settlements”, explains Vijay Raghaven, Head of Mission for Johanniter in Afghanistan.
Many of them have either fled the conflict or returned from neighbouring countries. Since the beginning of 2015, around three million Afghan refugees living in Iran and Pakistan have returned to Afghanistan, often to a fragile and uncertain future, according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - OCHA. In addition, there are about 1.2 million internally displaced people across Afghanistan living in informal settlements. Their future is uncertain, as they fear eviction from the property owners and the government departments who own these lands. Most of them work on the streets of Kabul collecting scraps and sell them to fletch household needs.
Cash Transfer to Cope With Winter
Johanniter International Assistance together with Organisation for Human Welfare (OHW) provided in February 235 families in Hewaldawal camp site. Each family received 15,000 Afghani (equivalent to 190 Euros) to meet their winter requirements. The money was transfered by SIM-Cards, each assisted family were able to accede adequate heaters, blankets and enough food stocks to cope up with this harsh winter 2019.