IOM Afghanistan To Receive USAID/OFDA In-Kind Donation To Assist 70,000 Afghans Displaced By Drought
Herat – Afghanistan is currently facing the worst drought in decades. The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) together with humanitarian partners has so far identified 35,549 families (223,100 individuals) who have been displaced in Herat, Badghis and Ghor between January and October 2018.
Of these, 44% or close to 100,000 individuals are children and youth below the age of 18, and one fifth (19%) are below the age of five. More than half of the displaced settled in Herat city, 39% settled in and around Qala-e Naw, the provincial capital of Badghis province, and the remaining 2% settled in other provinces.
The displaced population is characterized by a high level of poverty, and lack of access to food and water. As a result, they need essential life-saving services in the areas of health and nutrition. Additionally, most of the displaced live in tents or the open air and lack access to even the most basic services, such as proper shelter.
In response to these critical needs of the displaced families in Badghis and Herat provinces and the lack of shelter in light of the approaching winter, USAID / OFDA have committed to deliver an unprecedented in-kind contribution to IOM Afghanistan. Three C-17 aircrafts will be carrying plastic sheeting, blankets and kitchen sets for 10,000 displaced Afghan families (over 70,000 individuals). The first aircraft landed in Herat on Saturday, November 17 and was welcomed by US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass, Head of IOM Afghanistan Laurence Hart and Afghan government officials. The other two aircrafts are scheduled to arrive in the upcoming days. Following the arrival of the planes, IOM will ensure warehousing and distribution of the relief items in Herat and Badghis to those in need by December 5th, 2018.
On Saturday, November 17, a press conference was held in Herat to mark the arrival of the first plane attended by Ambassador of the United States to Afghanistan John Bass, Governor of Herat Rahimi, Deputy Governor of Badghis Malikzada, Head of IOM Afghanistan Laurence Hart, and local media representatives. During the event, Mr. Bass said “The United States confirms its continuous support to the Afghan people, and we thank the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for cooperating with USAID/OFDA in helping thousands of displaced Afghan families.”
Deputy Governor of Badghis Mr. Malikzada said: “Assistance also needs to be provided in places of origin through the investment in the agricultural sector so that people can sustain themselves in their places of origin. We don’t want to establish camps in urban centers and create subsidized communities that permanently rely on aid for survival.”
So far, 8,341 families have received non food items (such as blankets and household items) and 5,031 have received emergency shelter. The assistance was distributed by IOM, UNHCR, IFRC, DRC, IRC and NRC. UNICEF has additionally committed to cover the needs of an additional 3,000 families. More information on IOM assistance to Afghans affected and displaced by natural disasters, including drought, can be found here.