Providing Assistance after a Suicide Car Bomb Attack
The aftermath of the explosion. Each year hundreds of Afghan civilians are killed, injured, or suffer property damage in car bomb explosions. The use of car bombs, otherwise known as vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDS) is a favorite tactic of insurgents. While the target is often the international military, there are invariably civilian casualties.
Dozens of civilians were caught up in such an attack near the British Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand Province. Three people, including a child, were killed, and 40 others, including a foreign woman, were injured.
Through its Afghan Civilian Assistance Program, IRD helped 55 families affected by the explosion. Within days of the incident they were able to collect immediate assistance, having the choice between staple food items, basic household goods, or financial help for medical treatment. Many of the families will also be entitled to receive follow-on tailored assistance, which could include help to set up a small business, vocational training, or educational classes.
Receiving assistance from the provincial governor. Mohammad Hanif said the assistance was of great help to him because he was unable to support his family because of the injuries he sustained in the blast. The 61-year-old said, “I am an aged man and have responsibility to feed my family. I am very happy with the quick and on-time assistance to my family, because since I was injured I could not go out to work and earn money. This food package will help my family until I recover. Hopefully, I will receive more assistance so that I may create a sustainable source of income for my family.”
The provincial governor, other prominent government officials, and community elders attended the distribution, which was featured on national state television news as well as local channels. Provincial Governor Gulab Mangal said the assistance demonstrated the international community’s empathy with the Afghan people. “As Helmand governor I would like to thank the Afghan Civilian Assistance Program for the quick delivery of assistance to the victims. With close coordination and cooperation we will give further assistance to the people.” The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program has helped nearly 10,000 civilian families since 2007.
The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program is funded by USAID Afghanistan and implemented by IRD.