In Afghanistan, one third of the population, 15.3 million people do not have enough food to eat. This situation is heartbreaking and is exactly why our humanitarian work on the ground is essential.
Just before Ramadan 2022, Muslim Hands opened our very first Tandoor bakery in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since its launch we have been distributing hundreds of fresh naans to vulnerable people every day, including widows, orphans, elderly people and those living with disabilities.
The naans produced by the Tandoor bakery are a lifeline for so many. In a country where 29.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, this project has started a positive chapter in their stories.
Addressing Food Insecurity Among Displaced Afghans: Hajera's Struggle
Bebe Hajera’s family are some of the beneficiaries of the Tandoor bakery. Their story, like many Afghans, is filled with struggle, loss and pain. Not only was Hajera forced to flee her home in Kunduz due to conflict, but she also lost her husband after he fell sick, leaving the family without a breadwinner. After leaving everything behind, all she has left are her two sons and two daughters.
Now displaced, her new home is a small, damp mud room in an Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp. Her father-in-law helped her to build it when she expressed her concerns for her children’s safety in the tent they sheltered under before. The camp is overcrowded and unclean exposing Hajera and her children to all kinds of diseases. Although access to water isn’t an issue, other utilities such as electricity aren’t available.
In this economy, many Afghan families are forced to choose which necessities they will prioritise. Education, jobs, debts and other expenses, nutritious food and healthcare are some of their concerns. In Hajera’s case, she has been unable to pay the rent for the land they live on for six months.
Being an illiterate single mother, she can’t do much to improve her situation. She spends her time doing housework and praying for a miracle. 13-year-old Muhammad, her eldest child, has assumed responsibility of earning a living to support his mother and siblings. He earns a modest daily wage working for a cleaning services company, collecting rubbish from people’s homes. However, even this isn't enough to cover all of their bills.
‘Our living situation is bad; there is no one to help us. I worry about the future of my children. They are very small and cannot cope with problems such as hunger. If I can’t provide a good future for them, they will be miserable like me.’
The family has been receiving daily naans for the past three months. By providing essential food to Hajera and her children, one part of their burden has been taken away, allowing them room to use their income for their other needs.
She is so thankful for the naans donated by Muslim Hands supporters.
Navigating Adversity: Qamar's Journey through Homelessness and Food Insecurity
50-year-old Qamar Gul is another widow our Tandoor project has reached out to. After fleeing her home city of Kunduz, Qamar and her children spent several days living on the streets of Kabul with nowhere to stay. They later found an IDP camp and have been sheltering in it for three years. They have two tents, staying in one and using the other for cooking and storing their few belongings.
Financial difficulties, homelessness and health problems are some of the difficulties she is facing. She spends a lot of her time wool-spinning with her daughter, but her work doesn’t bring in any income. ‘We only eat half a loaf of bread for dinner and lunch’, Qamar told our team before the intervention.
She has three sons and a daughter, and none of them are able to attend school due to their poverty. Her eldest son is the sole breadwinner, collecting rubbish and selling any plastic he can salvage. His income only covers their rent, meaning they have nothing left to buy the food they need for a nutritious meal.
Qamar Gul shares similar concerns for her children like Bebe Hajera: ‘If I can’t provide a good life, education, and good nutrition for my children, they will experience hunger and their future will be uncertain.’ She hopes her children can live life without hunger and have a good future.
How You can Help Alleviate Food Insecurity in Afghanistan
The Tandoor bakery is providing each family with ten fresh naans every day to keep them nourished.
This project is a lifeline for Hajera, Qamar and many more families. Our team are prioritising those who are most vulnerable, including displaced families, orphans and people with disabilities.
Help us to run this essential project and reach even more Afghans in need. Every £10 you donate allows us to distribute 100 fresh naans, feeding 10 families. Join the fight against hunger in Afghanistan today. They need us now more than ever.