Ghulam Nabi and his family from Northern Jowzjan province, living in a tent after their home was destroyed by recent flood. Photo: WFP/Sayed Hadi Abdulahi
Heavy floods in northern Afghanistan left scores of people dead and destroyed thousands of homes during the spring and early summer. WFP was on hand with emergency food.
Ghulam Nabi was in deep sleep when he heard people shouting: “Flood is coming, flood is coming”. Fortunately their screams gave him time to take his children to the roof of his house before the water came. “It was 4am when we climbed onto the roof… we waited there for almost five hours until the Afghan National Army (ANA) choppers came and evacuated us,” the 52-year-old farmer recalls.
According to UNOCHA, in May alone floods affected nearly 140,000, and 8,000 homes were reported destroyed across northern Afghanistan.
Ghulam and his family are from Khwaja Doko district of northern Jowzjan. “The flood completely destroyed our home and washed away our farmland,” he recalls. Ghulam and his family are now living in a tent in a desert area called Chob Bash Khord. His children munch on high-energy biscuits – the first food that was distributed after the flood, to help people meet their immediate needs. The biscuits are locally produced in Afghanistan under WFP’s Purchase for Progress or P4P programme. WFP also distributed two months worth of wheat, vegetable oil and split peas to help families get back on their feet.
The past months have seen repeated floods and landslides in many parts of Afghanistan, and WFP has systematically contributed to the emergency response. The most recent floods hit Guzargah-e-Nur district in Baghlan, in which dozens of people were killed and more than 5,000 were affected.
With roads to the area blocked, the United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS), managed by WFP, mobilized a helicopter flight for aid workers to the affected area on 9 June, to conduct assessments and plan further assistance.
In coordination with the government and other humanitarian agencies, WFP plans to provide a two-month food supply for more than 5,000 flood affected people in this district.
“Our thoughts are with the families of those affected. WFP stands with the people of Afghanistan and is committed to continue providing humanitarian assistance in times of need.” said Claude Jibidar, WFP Representative and Country Director in Afghanistan.