Food distribution and money for treatment of the wounded
In early March, Shelter Now had distributed food to 500 poor families from the Hazara minority in Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood. On April 19, bombings at a school in the neighborhood killed at least 148 people, most of them children and teenagers, according to information from the aid agency. At the request of the school’s principal, Shelter Now is launching another food distribution among the victims’ families and providing injured people with the cost of medical treatment.
The Barchi Plain west of Kabul is populated mainly by the Hazara, according to Shelter Now’s German director Udo Stolte. As an ethnic minority belonging to the Shiite tradition of Islam, they are persecuted by extremist religious groups. In recent years, there have been repeated bomb attacks or suicide bombings with dozens of deaths, especially in arenas, cultural centers, and especially in educational institutions. According to estimates, the Hazara make up between 10 and 20 percent of the Afghan population.
Authorities of the ruling Taliban and media had mentioned a much lower number of victims after the attacks on the school. Journalists in Afghanistan are not allowed to report on the true extent, Stolte complains. In addition to the deaths, his sources said there had also been at least 60 injuries, some of them life-threatening.
The food aid was intended to alleviate the plight of the mostly very poor Hazara families, who were now grieving for their loved ones. “For those affected, this is also an important sign that they are not forgotten,” emphasizes the Shelter Now director. Accordingly, flour, cooking oil, rice, beans, tea leaves and sugar are distributed to 178 families. Another 81 households will be provided assistance with treatment costs for injured family members. In total, more than 1,800 people benefit from this assistance. The relief organization is providing 44,000 euros in donations for this purpose.
In the future, we want to continue implementing projects for the persecuted Hazara, Stolte announced. At the March distribution, Shelter Now had identified 500 particularly poor families in Dasht-e-Barchi. Around 3,500 people were supplied with the relief supplies.
Brunswick, April 29, 2022
Shelter Now is an international relief organization with a coordination office in Germany. It was active in Pakistan from 1983 to 2016. Work began in 1988 in Afghanistan and in 2014 in the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). The name of the organization in Germany is “Shelter Now Germany e.V.”. Shelter Now finances its relief efforts to a large extent from private donations. Shelter Now’s efficient and project-related use of funds is certified by the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI) with the donation seal.