Success Stories

Recovering from Loss Caused by Conflict

Posted on February 28, 2013 by John Engels

Sayed Abdul and his wife in their small grocery. Their son, Sayed Kahn, was killed as a result of the presence of coalition forces in the country. "The help we received saved us from going hungry and allows us to support ourselves.” GHAZNI, Afghanistan – Living near a military base in Afghanistan is dangerous. The risks of roadside bombs and insurgent attacks against foreign and Afghan soldiers are constant. Insurgents often fire mortars at bases but the mortars may miss and strike nearby homes. In Ghazni province a stray mortar hit a home, killing three civilians and injuring six others.

All nine families of the victims were assisted by the Afghan Civilian Assistance Program, which provides support to families that suffer losses because of the presence of US and coalition military forces in the country. Sayed Kahn was one of the victims. Even though he worked as a laborer and did not earn much, his family depended on what little he brought home. Compounding the hardship, his father has cancer and one of his brothers is disabled and unable to work. Kahn’s death plunged his family into acute economic hardship.

Soon after the incident the Afghan Civilian Assistance Program stepped in to provide the family with desperately needed food and household items. They later received further assistance designed to help them earn an income for themselves. The family now runs a small grocery, which generates enough money for them to meet their needs. The project also provides the family with baby and educational support items.

“We were very badly affected when our son was killed,” Sayed Kahn’s father, Sayed Abdul, said. “He worked very hard to support us. We faced a dark future, but the help we received saved us from going hungry and allows us to support ourselves. My wife helps me to manage the shop. We are very, very thankful.”

The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program has supported more than 12,000 families since 2007. Small businesses are one of a number of tailored assistance options.  The project has helped beneficiaries set up a wide variety of small businesses, such as car mechanics, bakeries, carpentry shops, welding shops, and firewood shops.

The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program is funded by USAID Afghanistan and implemented by IRD.

Filed Under: Community Transitions, Emergency Response, Asia & Pacific, Afghanistan