I escaped when I heard the shooting close to my house, says Afghan Sher Ali. Now he received support to buy household equipmentJun 1, 2016
Baghlan province in Northern Afghanistan struggled with floods and earthquake recently. Now its districts of Dahana-e-Ghori and Shobuddin are afflicted by extensive conflict. Fifteen people lost their lives due to the armed conflict so far and thousands are currently displaced to safe havens such as the provincial capital Pul-e-Khumri. Sher Ali is one of them. He escaped Dahana-e-Ghori with his family when the fighting came too close to his house.
“I heard some rumours from other affected villages that the fighters are destroying everything. One morning I heard shooting close to our village, we took anything we could grab and left,” Sher Ali describes. The family found refuge in Pul-e-Khumri. “We are living in a compound together with two other families and the rent is high but we have no other place to go,” says Sher’s mother as she is cooking lunch for the family.
Sher Ali once took advantage of a short ceasefire to return to Dahana-e-Ghori and salvage what remained in his house. “Everything was gone. All I was able to save are the beams of our roof which I brought back to Pul-e-Khumri. I also found one of our calves wandering in a nearby field. If I don’t find a job soon we will have to sell it,” he describes his short trip back home.
Help for 1,300 families
“I might have to sell the beams as well, but I was hoping I could keep them in case we can go back and rebuild our house. As of now it is still too insecure. Eighty families from our village left and none of them have been able to return so far,” says Sher. The majority of the internally displaced families are currently living in Pul-e-Khumri city. They are either being hosted by relatives or renting accommodation.
People in Need’s (PIN) team was one of the first responders in the field, as part of the Emergency Response Mechanism (ERM) funded by the European Commision’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO). PIN led two needs assessment teams and together with EU funding supported more than 1,300 families within the last six months.
Sher Ali’s family received an unconditional cash grant to cover the costs of buying essential items such as clothing. Unfortunately fighting in Dahana-e-Ghori is far from over. Displaced families continue to reachg Pul-e-Khumri in search of peace and shelter for their families. In total at least 1,500 families are reportedly displaced. The ERM partners with the support of ECHO have been the main providers of clean water and financial support to these families.