Among the most desperate people in the world.
Internally Displaced Persons in Afghanistan are in Need of Help and Hope
Late last year, 380 Afghan families made their way to a makeshift IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp near Barek Aub, a community Sozo International has a well-established relationship with. These families had been forced from Pakistan, along with approximately 60,000 other Afghan refugees living within Pakistan’s borders. Though Afghan, many hadn’t been within the borders of their homeland in decades, if ever. They’d fled the country under Soviet invasion or the subsequent civil war.
As a result of the disintegrating political relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan devastated Afghan refugee communities, bulldozed their homes and sent them back to their native country. These individuals truly are amongst the most desperate in the world; dozens of IDP’s have died this winter alone as a result of starvation and exposure.
Women account for around half of the world’s 33.2 million internally displaced persons. While general human rights violations are common amongst all groups of IDP’s, women and girls are particularly vulnerable in such exacerbated situations. They tend to have less access to healthcare, education and economic opportunities, if any exist at all. They are more vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence and have few rights when comes to housing, land and property and decision-making. (Reference resource)
Afghanistan also has holds one of the highest concentrations of female widows in the world. In 2006, the UN reported an estimated 2 million of the 13 million female population were widows. In a male dominated culture, this adds an even greater level of hardship to the lives of women. (See details in the news)
Sozo aims to assist this group of IDP’s in some of their most immediate needs. Through a partner grant, we have distributed food, blankets and firewood to each family (enough to sustain the average family of 8 for one month). Because of your continued support, we were also able to open our medical clinic and fresh water well to the group. Additionally, numerous talented individuals have sent over their handmade blankets and other baby items that provide a small amount of warmth and a large amount of hope.
The level of need in the world around us seems great - and it is - but YOU have the opportunity to be a contributor to change in communities with little hope and in the lives of women and girls! Change can come in the most unlikely places – your prayers, your engagement in women’s issues in Afghanistan, through your own education here at home and through your financial support. All have the ability to move hope a little closer to those we seek to serve.