CWS-P/A
This content is from the former Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan website

Background: Heavy rain, snow fall, avalanches and flash floods have affected 7,018 families in twenty-two provinces of Afghanistan. A total of 254 people were killed and seventy-two people were injured. 1,312 houses were completely destroyed and 5,285 houses were damaged.

According to recent reports Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Afghanistan has provided health related services to 6,125 individuals. All main roads are now open to traffic; however the Ministry of Defense (MoD), Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) are still working with local contractors to reopen secondary roads in Badakhshan, Bamyan, and Daykundi provinces. All roads are open in Panjsher province, except for the Khawak valley road in Paryan district.

As per recent reports, 425 new IDP families are reported from Hese Awal district in Panjsher province. Till to date Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) has provided cash assistance to 106 families who lost their family members. Private donations collated by ANDMA has comprised of food donations for 2,264 families (including wheat, vegetable oil, sugar, and rice), 170 tents, 444 plastic sheets, 750 blankets, and clothes for 1,670 adults and children. Additionally the Government of Afghanistan has also allocated emergency funds to support affected families. With support from UNICEF, MoPH has assigned vaccination teams in Panjsher and vaccinated 3,000 children by March 17, 2015. Emergency hospitals and basic health clinics in Panjsher are also functional.

In Parwan, assessment in parts of Ghorband valley is still pending due to road clearance. World Food Program (WFP) distributed food and International Organization for Migration (IOM) distributed NFIs to 242 families from Bagram, Charikar, and Jebal Saraj and Kohi Safi districts. WFP food, CARE NFIs, and UNICEF children’s clothing distributions started in Salang district on March 14, 2015 and are expected to begin in Shiwari and Surkh-e-Parsa districts. In Salang, health clinics with ten bed capacities are fully operational in both sides of the pass.

In Kapisa, 366 families have been affected by heavy snowfall. In total, three people died, eight injured, 166 houses were completely destroyed and 200 houses severely damaged in twenty-four villages in seven districts. Their priority needs are food and NFIs. The Provincial Department of Agriculture reported that 3,500 farmers were affected by heavy snowfall and the Ministry of Agriculture has assigned teams to assess damage to farms and orchards. Villages affected by heavy snow fall in Deh-Sabaz district of Kabul are yet to be assessed.

Eastern Region: Joint assessment teams have recommended 2,929 families for humanitarian assistance from Nangarha, Kunar, Laghman, and Nuristan. A total of 2,683 houses are severely damaged and 246 houses are completely destroyed in the region.

Nangarhar is the worst affected province in eastern region due to floods where Behsud, Shekhmesr, Surkhsrod, Darunta, Khewa, Dara-eNoor, Jalalabad City Achin and some other districts of this province are severally damaged. Overall nine people including women and children have died, few are reported injured, 158 houses completely damaged, while 1,591 houses are severely damaged.

North Eastern Region: Assessments are underway in Badakhshan, Takhar and Baghlan provinces. More than ten houses are completely destroyed, five people are killed and three other wounded due to recent avalanches in districts of Badakhshan.

Western Region: Heavy snowfall in Badghis has cut off several villages in Ab Kamari district from basic health services. The Department of Public Health (DoPH) has deployed an emergency mobile health team to the affected villages. MoPH has sent a medical team to Qala-e-Naw in Badghis province to support families under threat of landslides.

CWS-P/A Response: CWS-P/A emergency response team is on alert and coordinating with ANDMA, OCHA, IOM and other relevant organizations and stakeholders.

Based on a recent update from OCHA in Afghanistan Humanitarian Forum (AHF) meeting held on March 18, 2015 in Kabul, the main and worst affected provinces in terms of damages and number of affected families who lost their assets are Parwan and Nangarhar. Immediate needs of the affected families including food is fulfilled for the month, but there is dire need of food for the coming months. Most of the affected families have lost their stand crops in agriculture land and wheat, corn, rice, bean and other food items stocked in their houses were washed away by flood, came under avalanches or expire due to heavy snow and floods. These food items were stored by the people for one year consumption.

As per the list of distributed assistance shared by ANDMA, OCHA, IOM and other organizations, mattresses and pillows are not included which is one of the priority need of the affected families. Currently the floors are damp and sleeping on damp floor without a mattress can cause different diseases such as bone ache etc. CWS-P/A plans to provide mattresses, pillow with a plastic mat to spread below the mattress to ensure prevention from diseases. Additionally to prevent the affected community from outbreak of water borne or communicable disease, provision of health and hygiene awareness sessions with hygiene kit are also considered essential.

Background: A large number of losses are reported from across Afghanistan due to heavy rain, snow fall, avalanches and flash floods. According to media reports at least 286 people have died, 3715 families in all 19 provinces have been severely affected, based on ANDMA/OCHA report. The figures are still not confirmed as the rescue operation and assessment is still going on in Panjsher, Parwan and other provinces, and even access to some of the area is still difficult due to heavy snowfall and blockage of primary and secondary roads throughout the countries in recent days. Majority of the deaths are reported from Panjsher in central region. On March 1, 2015 Salang pass was reopened for passengers and heavy vehicle traffic, additionally the Ministry of Public Works is also working to clear secondary roads in Panjsher. With a possibility of more avalanches in Arib Valley of Pryan district, authorities are now working to clear debris and restore power supplies.

In Parwan, Kabul, Kapisa and Wardak several houses are destroyed due to flooding. Livestock losses are also reported in central highlands, besides avalanches have been triggered by heavy snow combined with rain. Primary roads in Bamyan’s Panjab, Yakawalang, Ashterlay, Khidir, and Sang-eTakht in Daykundi are closed.

Eastern Region: Within the districts of Nangarhar, Nuristan, Laghman and Kunar more than 1000 families are affected by rainfall, avalanches and floods. Till to date humanitarian agencies distributed NFIs and food supplies to 205 families and forty-two tents in districts of Nangarhar. Twenty-one NFI kits in Mehterlam and eighty NFI kits were distributed in Qarghayi district Laghman.

North Eastern Region: Most of the time in a year, seven districts of Badakhshan province are closed due to heavy snowfall and bad roads. Due to recent snow three other district roads have also been closed. An avalanche reported in one of the villages of Maimai district, claimed nine lives and destroyed eight houses completely. In Takhar the government plans to use helicopters to distribute cash assistance to affected families and transfer food, but to date the weather has not been conducive for the flights to take place.

Western Region: Overall 116 families affected by snow and twenty-eight families affected by flood were reported in Badghis province. Three houses completely destroyed and a number of casualties were reported from Ghor province. Due to heavy snow fall roads are blocked which became a hindrance to conduct assessments. According to ANDMA fifty-four families identified for food and NFIs distribution in Farah province and 136 families affected by flooding across Hirat province are receiving humanitarian assistance.

CWS-P/A Response: CWS-P/A emergency response team is on alert and coordinating with ANDMA, OCHA, IOM and other relevant organizations and stakeholders. Our response is planned based on the current needs, however the existing emergency need is high and also changing with time. CWS-P/A plans to target vulnerable families in two most affected provinces of Panjsher and Parwan by providing food ration for three months, nonfood item packages, health and hygiene kits along with awareness raising sessions.

Heavy rains, snowfall, avalanches and flash floods have led to loss of lives, injuries and destroyed a significant number of houses across Afghanistan. The central and northeast regions appear to be most affected, with strong winds causing avalanches in Salang pass, Panjsher and Bamyan provinces. However, it is expected that rain will convert to snow from west to east across Afghanistan due to colder air in the region. Weather forecasts indicate further precipitation and temperature to fall to -7ºC in central Afghanistan and -12ºC in the central highlands. While the numbers of casualties and damages reported by the local and international media are unconfirmed since rescued personnel are yet to reach the worst affected areas.

Additionally, heavy loss of agricultural infrastructure and livestock is also reported from different parts of the affected provinces. Several assessment missions are taking place across the country to develop a more accurate picture of the loss and impact on humanitarian needs, including the number of people affected. Currently humanitarian assistance is ongoing in accessible areas.

North Eastern Region: At least twenty people are killed; nine injured and ninety-one houses are buried in different incidents of heavy snowfall and avalanches in north eastern region of Afghanistan. Affected provinces in the region include Badakhshan and Takhar.

Eastern Region: Eighteen people are killed; four injured and more than 340 houses are damaged in different parts of the eastern region. Affected provinces include Nangarhar, Nuristan, Laghman and Kunar.

Central Region: One hundred and sixty-eight people killed, fifty injured and hundreds are still missing in incidents of flooding. One hundred and ninety-nine houses are completely destroyed while 364 houses are severely damaged.

Western Region: Flash floods and snow storms affected 254 families in Hirat, Ghor and Badghis provinces. CWS-P/A Response:CWS-P/A is monitoring the situation and will plan its response accordingly.

CWS-P/A Response: CWS-P/A is monitoring the situation and will plan its response accordingly.

Sources: UNOCHA Afghanistan

To develop an environment that encourages the students’ physical and cognitive development, CWS-P/A established five play areas in schools that participate in its girls’ education project.

“I am very happy and enjoy coming to school,” shared Shakira, a fifth grade student. Ever since the play area was constructed, Shakira attends school regularly. Although her house is four kilometers from the school, she enjoys walking an hour before school so she can enjoy time in the play area. “I play three times a day; before school starts, during the break, and lastly before leaving for home. I feel quite energized and it also helps me to memorize my lesson very well. I am confident to attain first position in my class this year.”

Muzafar, a teacher, also observed a positive change in Shakira’s interests. “Before the construction of play areas, Shakira used to be absent very often, but now she has become very enthusiastic. She comes to school regularly and also learns her lesson well. She is ambitious to become a lawyer in the future.”

“I express my gratitude to the school management and CWS-P/A for motivating my daughter to attend school regularly”

During the construction process, our project team conducted several monitoring visits of the schools. Excited children were anxiously waiting for the play areas to be functional. They regularly asked our team when the play area would be completed and how frequently they will be allowed to play. Shakira’s parents have also acknowledged this effort and personally thanked our project staff for this initiative. “I express my gratitude to the school management and CWS-P/A for motivating my daughter to attend school regularly,” shared Samiullah, Shakira’s father. He further shared that the school principal informed him about the overall increase in children’s attendance and a growing interest in their studies.

Our girls’ education project began in 2009, with an aim to increase girls’ enrollment in school, enhance teachers’ capacity, and encourage community involvement in education, gender equality, and economic growth.

Majid Khan, 20, found a new direction in life after attending training in welding at Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan’s vocational training center in Mansehra District. He first heard about the center from elders in his community, but he was later met by the mobilization team and informed in more detail about the program. After meeting participant selection criteria, Majid began the four-month welding course, the trade of his choice.

Upon successful complete of the course and certification exam, he took the next step by entering an internship at Muhammad Ikram Welding Works. After his internship, he was ready for full-time employment.

A year after entering the trade, Majid started his own business. His elder brother, Najeeb, also assists in the shop. His first month’s net profit was Rs. 15,000 (USD 150). He is very confident that his revenue will increase as he gains more customers.

“I now play an important role in my family’s livelihood. We spend most of this money on nutritional needs and also health and clothing needs. I will expand this business with the passage of time. I will invest some of the net profit in order to make my business more stable and productive.

“My family and I are very happy with my new business. They support me whole heartedly. I predict a very progressive future for myself.”

Background: Sima belongs to a small village in the center of Bamyan, Afghanistan. In 2009, she was made part of CWS-P/A’s Child Rehabilitation Center (CRC) which helped her to study well. Her active involvement at the CRC gave her confidence and made her social. More importantly, Sima who is now 17 is well on her way to helping her family with increased income.

Story Collected by: Mohammad Omar

Sima’s father did not receive an education and works occasionally as a daily wage worker. Her mother and two sisters weave carpets at their home. The money is used to meet everyday household expenses for Sima’s family which includes ten members. She said, “My sisters do not attend school. While I attended school I would also help my mother in weaving carpets. As a result, I could not do my homework well or study at home and this led me to getting lower grades.”

Sima added, “Eventually, I was not interested in studying but my mother introduced me to the Cooperation Center for Afghanistan (CCA) team that had come to do a survey in our village. I was selected by the team and enrolled as a student at the CRC.”

With various ongoing interactive initiatives as part of the CRC’s agenda, Sima shared that during her first month at the CRC she did not like it because it made her realize that she was passive. “I quickly decided to change myself and became an active student at the CRC. I told my mother that I would not be able to assist in carpet weaving and used that time to prepare for all that was being taught to me. I began to study hard and actively participated in all activities which made me become social. I was supported by my teachers who discovered I was a quick learner. They gave me the opportunity to take responsibility of making announcements.”

Sima’s progress in school after she had left the CRC led her to achieving the first position and realizing her potential she was usually assisting her teachers. “As a co-teacher I gained some basic teaching skills and increased my knowledge about managing a class. I also took part in role plays. I realized if I worked hard I could support my family.”

In early 2013, while Sima was in class 11, an organization had advertised vacant positions for teachers. She shared, “I knew I did not meet the qualification requirements but I was confident about my talent and knowledge from the CRC. I passed the written exam and did very well in the practical exams because I was the only person who had knowledge on child rights, human rights, and health and hygiene education.
Sima adds that she is really proud of herself for being able to support her family. “Now my mother does not have to work more than 12 hours per day.”

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As part of Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan’s (CWS-P/A) long-term commitment to enhance quality and accountability in humanitarian and development interventions, a booklet on Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management was launched recently. The authors of the booklet are Sylvie Robert and Astrid de Valon whose indepth research methodology have made it very user friendly.

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A panel discussion took place on February 22, 2013 at an ongoing CWS-P/A regional training, ‘Enhancing Quality and Accountability in Humanitarian Action and Non-Emergency’ in Bangkok, Thailand. Twenty-eight participants and five guest speakers were part of the panel discussion. The panelists included David Verboom (European Commission for Humanitarian Aid), Souleyman Sow (CARE), Anoop Sukumaran (Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network), and Alan Dwyer and Erin Mcgee (USAID/OFDA). The discussion was moderated by facilitator, Sylvie Robert as key questions were raised about joint standards and its relationship with joint compliance and certification.

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The project goal is to enhance the capacity of destitute children to develop their mental ability and daily-life management skills, orienting their behavior towards social cooperation and peace building. For a 12 month period, two shifts per day of schooling will be conducted for the selected beneficiaries. For every shift, subjects and activities will be offered which are designed to rehabilitate the children, such as child rights, human rights, information about Afghanistan and the world, health education, physical cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation, environmental education, protection peace building, mine awareness, children literature, art, basics of reading and writing, role play, discussion, speech contests, celebration of world days, etc.

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District Shangla is one the most remote and disaster-affected districts of KP province. Shangla has the lowest Human Development Index in the province and second lowest in the country. The proposed project works to meet the needs of those is District Shangla through interventions in agriculture, livestock, cash for work, cash grants and capacity building of the village organizations on disaster risk reduction. These interventions will bring more livelihoods opportunities to the target population.

The project aims to meet the needs of the disaster affected peoples mainly through the distribution of fruit plants, cereal crop inputs, kitchen gardening inputs, provision of cash grants, cash for work opportunities, poultry inputs and fodder plants as well as providing technical input for livestock management.