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Educo provides food for 1,300 Afghan children

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  • The NGO supports 230 families dependent on widowed mothers, who are unable to work because of the restrictions imposed by the Taliban regime.

  • In Afghanistan, 95% of the population suffers from hunger, and the situation is especially critical for the 2 million women who have been widowed and left to fend for their families.

January 9, 2022.- The international development NGO Educo, as a member of ChildFund Alliance, provides support to widowed mothers in Afghanistan so that they can feed their families. "The Taliban's rise to power has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis the country was already experiencing and the situation of some of the most vulnerable people is getting worse and worse. In Afghanistan, 95% of the population suffers from hunger. There are no jobs and basic goods are becoming increasingly expensive. This affects the whole population, but especially women and girls, whose rights have been taken away by the Taliban. They are victims of all kinds of violence and there is no system in place for ensuring their protection” explains Educo’s Executive Director, Pilar Orenes.

As a consequence of the wars and the pandemic, more than two million women have been widowed and left to fend for their families. In most cases, they are illiterate women with no financial resources or documentation, who cannot leave the house unless accompanied by a man. “All these women can do is beg in order to survive and feed their families. That is why Educo and the ChildFund Alliance have decided to focus on these women, who have to take care of sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, and have no support," says Orenes.

The project is taking place in the Koshk Rabat Sangi district, in the Afghan province of Herat. Some 230 households led by women participate in the project, who between them are responsible for around 1,300 children. These women are given the equivalent of 80 euros per month in three instalments. At the moment, the plan is to extend the project until June this year.

“The population is dying of hunger”

Bibi Halima is 63 years old. She lost her husband three years ago, and her son left Afghanistan in 2020. Now she is the head of the family and five people depend on her. "I would like to have the opportunity to earn a living, but unfortunately nobody has any money and finding a job is almost impossible. To make matters worse, it is now more difficult for women to work," she explains. While any help is important, Bibi Halima's priority is for her and her family to be able to eat. “In the current situation, the most important thing is to be able to eat. The population is dying of hunger and it is difficult to find food in our village”.

Riza Gul, aged 50, lost her husband a year ago and now she lives with her daughter and grandchildren. "Before, I used to go to other villages to do housework, clean clothes or whatever. Now, with the Taliban restrictions and the worsening economic situation, I don't work. What should I do? Where should I go? How can I feed my family? God help us!”. She has sometimes been supported by her neighbours, but the situation in the country is getting worse and she can no longer count on them. " Nowadays, even ordinary food is becoming more and more expensive and there is no one to complain to or ask for help," she says sadly.

Since her husband died ten years ago, Taza Gul lives with her son’s family. "We didn't have much money before, but my son had a bit of income working as a construction worker. Now that the Taliban are in power, we have nothing," he explains. At the age of 57, Taza Gul is finding that for the first time in her life she needs financial help. “I had never received any help because I didn’t need it. My son had work and there were other more vulnerable people who needed help more than we did. Until recently, our neighbours and family members had helped us, but now they do not have any money either. I just don’t know what the future holds”, she laments.

About Educo:

Educo is a global development NGO focused on education child protection and child participation, which works in 14 countries carrying out projects in which more than 1.6 million children and young people participate.

For more information:

Vanessa Pedrosa (Press)

Tel: (00 34) 626 43 52 15