Food for the Hungry Responds to Afghan Earthquake

Food for the Hungry
Thursday, 4 April 2002

Food for the Hungry is providing cash, blankets and clothing to help victims of this past week's earthquakes in Afghanistan.

Food for the Hungry donated a $5,000 grant to Shelter Now International to rebuild homes in areas just north of Nahrin, the epicenter of the earthquakes. Shelter Now's kits help construct homes that can withstand earthquakes, which are extremely common in this region.

In addition Food for the Hungry's office in Mazar-e-Sharif has provided 2,000 blankets to International Organization for Migration, IOM, which has been active in the earthquake response. Food for the Hungry staff will accompany IOM during the distribution.

Last week, a series of earthquakes, the strongest measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale, struck northern Afghanistan late Monday and early Tuesday about 105 miles north of Kabul. According to initial UN estimates, about 10,000 families are affected, 60 percent of the population. Of those 60 percent, one quarter of them lost their homes.

Food for the Hungry has been providing relief efforts in Afghanistan since last October. Our efforts include providing food, clothing, shoes, blankets, and relief supplies to people in northern Afghanistan.

For the people in the region who have survived the harsh winter, the war, long-term drought, and now several earthquakes, the first days of spring bring more harsh realities. Most families have no food and no seeds to plant for the next growing season.

Food for the Hungry has long-term plans to supply the people of Afghanistan with seeds and tools, help rebuild the agricultural infrastructure, and provide food and medical care. Food for the Hungry is the lead agency for food and seed distributions in Cha Ab District, Takhar Province. An estimated 5,205 families (31,230 people) in Chah Ab district are wearing clothes and covered by blankets distributed by Food for the Hungry. Other Food for the Hungry efforts include:

- Food for the Hungry has sent more than $5 million worth of clothes and blankets to the region.

- 4,126 children in Chah Ab and Rustaq districts went from walking barefoot on the snow and ice and risking frostbite to having shoes to protect their feet from the bitter cold.

- 3,683 families (25,781 people) in Chah Ab and Rustaq districts received wheat.

- Over $1.6 million cash has been secured for ongoing efforts with the international Christian community providing more than 90% of this. At least $2 million worth of food and seeds are being procured.

- Widows from Chah Ab city are making winter blankets for future distributions, which will generate income and help the community members.

Ben Homan, president of Food for the Hungry, who recently visited Afghanistan said, "The physical and spiritual needs in this region are tremendous with the war and an ongoing drought. I saw one father selling wood he had dismantled from portions of his family's home in a desperate attempt to get money to buy food for his family."

Food for the Hungry is partnering with several organizations in the region in order to maximize personnel and resources. The organizations include the Central Asian Development Agency, World Concern and Northwest Medical Teams International, and together, with Food for the Hungry, they compose ImPart (IMplimenting PARTners).

Food for the Hungry is an international relief and development agency of Christian motivation, helping those who are affected by natural disasters such as floods, famines, and earthquakes, as well as those affected by war, hunger, and poverty. Projects include agriculture, income generation, health care, water and sanitation, child sponsorship and relief. To help with relief efforts in Afghanistan or for more information, call 1-800-2-HUNGER.

For more information, or to contact Food for the Hungry, see their website at: www.fh.org

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