Zardozi distributed food as poverty Increases amid COVID-19 lockdown
Afghans are suffering more from coronavirus lockdown and joblessness during the holy month of Ramadan. Zardozi clients saw a major setback in their small businesses which were the only source of income and hope for their children.
Among many of the clients Zardozi serves, Roshan Gul, a mother of 4 daughters and one son leads a poor life in a small mud house far away from the city of Herat.
For Roshan Gul and her kids, quarantine in Ramadan is like a nightmare as most of their days passed by without any food on Iftars, evening meal for breaking fast in Ramadan.
“I am lost about what to pay for with the little saving I have had. My son’s medicine? The bills and rent of the house? Or an onetime food?” says Roshan Gul as she sits by the bed of her son who has been suffering from a mental illness for the past several years.
The coronavirus pandemic in Afghanistan may not be closer to its peak yet but millions of people are already unemployed which is raising the percentage of poverty in the country; hence, making this Ramadan the hardest of all.
People like Roshan Gul, who used to sell eggs to earn some money, are no exception to this. They are paying the highest price for the lockdown.
In the middle of all these crisis, several businessmen and humanitarian relief and development organizations are playing a key role in responding to the COVID-19 crisis by distributing awareness flyers, hygienic materials, and food packages.
Recently, Zardozi also allocated a portion of money for distributing food to 124 low-income families in Kabul, Mazar-e-sharif, Jalalabad, and Heart. In each of this province 30 clients were supported with a package that included flour, sugar, oil, rice, pasta, salt, tomato paste, tea, pea, bean, lentil beans, and soap.
For transparency of the process, Zardozi created a food distribution committee that consisted of Zardozi staff member, Nisfe-Jahan member, and Kadar to buy food and disseminate it to the poor families. The representatives of Directorate of Women Affairs who attended the event in Jalalabad and Herat were very pleased with the transparency of food distribution and appreciated Zardozi’s constant support to underprivileged Afghan women.
The distribution of food in the four provinces was a significant step in the eyes of the families. The tears of happiness and prayers in their voices demonstrated the pain of starvation and fears of continuation of the government-imposed quarantine.
When Roshan Gul’s daughters saw Zardozi distribute the food, they jumped from happiness. One of her little girls excited about having pasta for dinner that night said to the staff member, “When I grow up, I will also help people as you did.”
Zardozi’s Kadar member says that poverty is forcing people to beg on the streets. Zardozi will not be able to reach out to all of its clients, but it will try its best to find solutions to alleviate the situation for some. “I would encourage everyone with a good economic situation to help their poor neighbors because we must be together to get out of this disaster,” Bi Bi Haji, the Kadar says.