Reports of the first case of COVID-19 at the Babasibⁱ camp in April drove the camp residents to be cautious and alert.
“We have been hearing a lot of information about the virus through the sessions conducted by a Female Health Worker (FMW) in our village. We learnt about the common symptoms of the virus and the preventive measures to take to reduce the spread of the virus,” said Bibi Samara, a 41-year-old mother of five children, is a resident of Babasib.
Samara’s eldest son, Kashmier is 22 years old and sells fruits on a cart in the local market near their village.
“He earns an estimate of AFN500 (Approx. USD 7/-) on a daily basis. He is the sole bread earner of our family of eight members. Tragically, in April, he became infected with the coronavirus. He had to be quarantined for one month at the Laghman Provincial Hospital. After testing negative, it took him another month to regain his strength. I was concerned about Kashmier’s health, but at the same time was very stressed about making ends meet without an income,” shared a worried Samara.
As the family had no other livelihood and brining food to the table became a challenge, Samara resorted to taking a loan of AFN 21,000 (Approx. USD 272) from neighbors and relatives to meet the family’s daily expenses and buy medicines for an unwell Kashmier.
“Some organizations came to our village and registered our names to provide assistance but we have not received any assistance from them as yet. It was only in ___, that I was selected as a recipient under Community World Service Asia’s Emergency Relief project through which we received some cash assistance. After many months of despair, this brought some relief into our lives.”
In July 2020, Samara received the cash assistance of USD 90/- under ACT Alliance’s Rapid Response Fund initiative.
“As soon as I received the cash, I rushed to the nearest grocery store to purchase essential food items as we were almost out of groceries at home. I also bought some medicines for Kashmier and paid back a partial amount of loan money as well. This assistance has really helped our family at this time. I was very worried about what to cook with the limited pantry we had. Fortunately, my family will now be consuming their three meals with the help of this money till Kashmier can get back on his feet in a month.”
ⁱ A camp of Returnees and IDPs, located in Mehterlam city, Laghman province