Helping Returnees Rebuild Their Lives

In the remote district of Deh Sabz in the central highlands, locals are eagerly awaiting the completion of a new village access road that will enable children to get to school faster and improve access to markets and healthcare facilities.

A Challenging Return

Sixty-year-old Mohammad Alam and his family have recently returned to their village in Deh Sabz, Afghanistan from Pakistan.  In this remote district of Kabul province, hundreds of families like Mohammad's have returned home after spending decades as refugees in Pakistan. They are hoping to rebuild their homes and their lives in spite of multiple challenges, among them the difficulties of getting to other villages. WFP, together with local communities, is constructing a six-kilometre road that will connect more than 15 villages in Deh Sabz to Kabul city. This will serve to improve access between villages, as well as access to markets.

 

Sign of Development

After 30 years in Pakistan as a refugee, Alam is happy to be back and he is expecting great things from the road when it is completed. “This project will improve our lives, I am very happy to see this road in our area, as it shows it is developing. We will soon have better connection to the markets, to schools and to health clinics,” said Alam. 
 
The road building project is part of WFP’s Asset Creation strategy, which supports community projects and aims to help local communities through enhancing resilience and rebuilding livelihoods. WFP provides monthly food supplies of fortified wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil and salt to support the families of 800 labourers who participate in the construction work in exchange for food support. 80 of the most vulnerable female-headed households in the community have also received food assistance.

Fresh Grapes, Better Prices

Most people living in the area are farmers, growing vegetables, fruit and other agricultural produce. In the past they were often forced to sell at lower prices as poor road conditions and weak market access meant their produce took too long to reach the market. Malak Khial Mohammad, a community leader from a village in Deh Sabz explains how farmers will directly benefit from road access. “Now we can deliver our products such as fresh grapes to the market on time and can sell them at a good price. Farmers no longer need to worry about how to get their crops to markets, trucks come right to their farms. Now they reach the market in a matter of hours, not days."