KABUL: Saudi Arabia’s aid agency KSrelief is helping tens of thousands of Afghan families, many of whom have no access to other assistance as international support for the war-torn country is drying up.
KSrelief has been providing lifesaving aid to Afghan civilians even when major global organizations stopped operations and left millions of vulnerable people on their own following the Taliban takeover of Kabul in 2021.
Two years since, nearly 29 million people, or two-thirds of Afghanistan’s population, need urgent humanitarian aid as the country enters its third consecutive year of drought-like conditions, while still reeling from the effects of four decades of armed conflict.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned last month that operations in Afghanistan were facing a “critical funding gap” of $1.3 billion and aid pipelines were at risk of imminent rupture, including for food assistance.
It is in this situation on the ground that KSrelief has been over the past few months conducting aid distribution, facilitated by its partners — the Afghan Red Crescent Society and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The latest round of relief over the weekend helped over 24,000 families in the provinces of Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, Khost, Bamyan, Daykundi, Parwan, Panjshir, Kapisa, Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz, Balkh and Jowzjan.
Once complete, the program is expected to reach 47,400 families.
“This aid carries a lot of importance for Afghans as they are facing numerous hardships,” ARCS spokesperson Irrfanullah Sharafzoi told Arab News. “This assistance can help Afghans meet their immediate needs.”
The aid, comprising mostly flour, ghee, sugar and beans, is critical at a time when high unemployment and rising prices for key commodities have resulted in significant household debt across Afghanistan, further challenging families’ already fragile situation.
“I want to thank King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, the center for humanitarian aid, which has been significantly providing assistance to Afghans in 2022 and 2023,” Mawlawi Matiul Haq Khalis, acting director of the ARCS, told reporters in Kabul.
“The aid will be distributed in several areas, particularly in the northeast and central zones. We are trying to deliver it to those in need as quickly as possible.”
Earlier this year, KSrelief aid reached the eastern parts of Afghanistan, including Nuristan, Laghman and Nangarhar. Some of those who received it at the time, like Mohammad Numan, 34, told Arab News it would help families stay afloat.
“I want to thank the KSrelief for providing food packages to the needy and poor families across Afghanistan,” he said. “In this hard time, what I have received will definitely help meet my family’s needs for a while.”