IRC Expands food distribution in Afghanistan
An IRC convoy carrying 250 metric tons of food leaves Peshawar, Pakistan, for Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan today (Wednesday, Dec. 12) while trucks carrying 70 metric tons will depart Iran for the western Afghan city of Herat by the week’s end.
The deliveries launch an expansive IRC distribution that will supply nearly 50,000 vulnerable displaced families in eastern, western and northern Afghanistan with food for the winter months.
“Following a needs assessment in these regions, the IRC identified families in acute need of supplementary food, commodities that will help meet the nutritional requirements of families already receiving wheat from other sources,” says Sigurd Hanson, IRC director in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The IRC’s $2.7 million distribution will target vulnerable families—female-headed households and those with sick or elderly members. The project is being funded by the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Wednesday’s convoy, carrying kidney beans, cooking oil and sugar, will be the first of five for the eastern provinces of Paktia, Logar and Nangarhar, totaling 1,350 tons of food for 18,000 families or 90,000 people in the east. Distribution contractors will deliver the commodities to targeted villages and the IRC’s local partner groups will distribute the packages to intended families. A second distribution is scheduled for early next year, with an additional 1,230 tons of food for eastern regions.
Trucks are also being loaded in the Meshhad border area of Iran with beans, sugar and oil for internally displaced settlements in Herat province. More than 10,000 families will receive nearly 800 metric tons of food by the end of December.
Deliveries will take place through the 17th, and resume following the three-day observation of the holiday Eid, marking the end of Ramadan.
When security allows, the IRC is also set to deliver 1,515 tons of food to more than 20,000 families in need in and around the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, via Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. And plans are underway for the IRC to distribute emergency supplies to the same 50,000 targeted families. Purchased by Catholic Relief Services, these supplies include tents, blankets, plastic sheeting, clothing and hygiene kits.
Amid deteriorating humanitarian and security conditions in Afghanistan, the IRC is focusing its attention on life-saving assistance. In the cities and in outlying areas of Mazar, Jalalabad, Kabul and Herat, the IRC has been providing emergency aid to the newly uprooted – including shelter materials, blankets and a month’s supply of food.Over the next six months, the IRC will be distributing 22,000 metric tons of wheat to displaced-persons settlements and vulnerable communities in the northern Balkh province—a program funded by the World Food Program. To date, some 1,300 metric tons have been distributed to 9,000 people in Sakhi Camp in Mazar.