The biggest challenge is to buy baby milk, the vouchers enable us to choose the food we need, says Syrian Ahmad

The biggest challenge is to buy baby milk, the vouchers enable us to choose the food we need, says Syrian Ahmad

Ahmad (39) originally from a village in the Eastern countryside of Damascus is now living with his wife and four children in Idlib countryside, hundreds kilometers away from his hometown. Along with his neighbors, Ahmad left his home when the village was evacuated. The only destination for thousands of civilians was Idilb city and its countryside in the very north of Syria.

Here Ahmad had to start his life from scratch. He is renting a small home in the South of Idlib and has to pay almost 15.000 Syria pounds (almost 31 USD) for rent. Ahmad faces many challenges at the moment. Alliance2015 partners People in Need and Welthungerhilfe help Ahmad and his family meet their basic food needs through a food voucher program.

How are you affected by the current crisis?

I used to work on a small piece of land which my father owned in rural Damascus. I also used to run a small shop. I used to live in my own home and I had many friends and acquaintances in my hometown. I lost it all  –  my home, my job, I cannot see my friends and some of my relatives because they all moved to other places. Life has changed greatly and things got worse.

What are some of the greatest challenges in your daily life?

The living costs have increased greatly during the past years while my income has decreased. I don’t have a permanent job, but work daily whenever it’s possible. The biggest challenge is to pay rent and to buy baby milk. Like all displaced people, including my brother who is living with me, we are living under constant pressure. Apart from financial issues, the security situation is not good either.

How do you benefit from the services provided by Welthungerhilfe and People in Need?

After we settled here, we didn’t receive any aid for almost three months. I’ve been receiving food vouchers from People in Need for three months now. It’s the fourth month now. Many thanks to the organization and the team for this big support. The vouchers enable us to chose the food we need, including baby milk which otherwise is expensive. We usually spend from 35.500 to 41.000 Syrian pounds on food per month. The voucher worth 38.500 Syrian pounds means that it covers almost all food needs we have.

What are your fears and hopes for the future?

I do not have any expectations for the future. Sometimes you hope and think that things will get better but they don’t. I am not a pessimist but I do not think things will get better at least in the near future. I hope the situation will improve and we will be able to go back to our village.

Author: Sari Haj Jneid, PIN Syria Communication Officer