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Middle East4 min read

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Q&A: An Inside Look at Life in Afghanistan

Megan Stoia
Sep 27, 2023

 

Our Director of International Partnerships, Kraig Cole, recently had the opportunity to travel on behalf of World Help to Afghanistan.

This was his experience once he landed on the ground.

When he first arrived, Cole expected to see what we’d all seen on the news — barriers throughout the cities, military checkpoints, and men standing on every corner with AK47s.

Help and Hope
World Help donors like YOU sent emergency aid to displaced people in Afghanistan

He didn’t expect to discover that Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, was relatively calm. Now that the Taliban has complete control, the fighting has come to an end. But that doesn’t mean the situation has improved.

“It is more dangerous for people in a sense that they are now struggling just to find their next meal,” Cole said.

Parents are selling their daughters to buy food … and some of these girls are as young as 4 years old.

The economy is failing. There are few job opportunities and multiple sanctions placed against the country. And to top it all off, they are running out of food.

Recently, we asked Cole to give us an in-depth scoop on the situation. This is what he said:

Q: What are the greatest needs of displaced Afghans and refugees?

A: Their greatest needs are the very things we often take for granted — food, clean water, safe shelter, and clothing.

While vastly underreported, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is very grim. Nearly half the population faces food shortages, and over 9 million people are enduring famine-like conditions. There doesn’t seem to be any change on the horizon, so these suffering people need our help immediately and for the long term.

Ship emergency aid worldwide
With winter right around the corner, people in Afghanistan desperately need help and hope

Q: Why is World Help being allowed to do work in Afghanistan so significant? 

A: The Taliban has permitted very few humanitarian organizations to operate in Afghanistan. In addition, their ban on women in the workforce also makes it extremely difficult for charities to operate with such limited staff. Our local partners are able to navigate the complexities of the situation there in order to deliver aid to some of the most desperate people in the world.

Q: What is one thing you learned during your time in Afghanistan that surprised you?

A: I was surprised to learn that over 1.6 million children are working in order to help their families afford basic necessities like food. Some of these children are as young as 6 years old, working in the fields or coal mines.

Q: How have women/children been impacted since the Taliban’s takeover?

A: Fewer children are able to attend school, and girls are not permitted in school beyond 6th grade. Over 40 decrees have been issued limiting women’s rights, including their freedom to work, learn, and travel.

Man in Afghanistan Recieves Aid
You can demonstrate the love of Christ to the Afghan people by meeting their physical needs

Q: How can we pray for our partner in Afghanistan/the Afghan people? 

A: Pray that people would have their daily needs met — food, water, clothing, and shelter. Pray that the prolonged drought would end so that more food could be produced and people fed.

The situation is dire … and it’s about to take a turn for the worse.

Because winter is coming.

The climate in Afghanistan is harsh. Summer days consistently reach over 100 degrees. But on the flip side, it frequently drops below zero during the winter. The majority of displaced Afghans live in mud huts. Their only hope of staying warm is burning trash like plastic and rubber inside their homes, which create toxic fumes dangerous to breathe in.

Will you help save a life this winter?

All it takes is $35 to provide a week’s worth of supplies like food, clean water, warm clothing, firewood, and more to one displaced person in Afghanistan.

Please give now so your gift arrives in Afghanistan before the cold weather.

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