In Afghanistan, Razia and her four children were displaced from their home in the Waras district of the Bamyan province. Living conditions had worsened as COVID-19 caused many livelihood opportunities to disappear.
With no place to call home and abandoned by her husband, the thirty-five-year-old mother, along with her three young daughters and son, sought refuge in a nearby village. The family found shelter—making a home for themselves in a spare room of a mosque that was traditionally used to host meetings and gatherings. The conditions of the space were challenging to live in, with no electricity, gas or water supply. In the winter, the concrete room became very cold.
Still, Razia and her children tried to make the best of the situation, seeking limited employment opportunities to help sustain themselves. Najib, Razia’s eldest son, runs an ice cream cart in the summer and works in a recycling shop during the winter months, earning about $3.25 (CAD) a day. Razia and her three daughters knit and embroider handicrafts to sell.
However, with COVID-19 impacting people’s purchasing ability, Razia has not received many orders, making the situation extremely challenging for the family to make ends meet.
In response to the overwhelming impact of COVID-19, PWS&D’s local partner in Afghanistan is distributing monthly cash transfers to 1,100 vulnerable households. The funds allow families to purchase much-needed food and essential items. The five-month project is made possible with support from partners at Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Government of Canada.
With this support, Razia and many other families are better prepared to combat food insecurity. Razia is now less stressed about where her family’s next meal will come from or how she will manage her household expenses in the harsh winter months.
“We were blessed this season as the cash helped us to purchase essential groceries including flour, rice, oil, vegetables, wood and gas. I have also bought warm clothing for my children so the winters will be warm and comfortable,” she shares.
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*This project receives support from Canadian Foodgrains Bank. PWS&D is a member of the Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger. This project is being undertaken with generous support from the Government of Canada.