Amin Gul whose wife died due to COVID-19 received Relief Package

MARCH 24, 2021 – As a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ordered a nationwide lockdown (quarantine) in an effort to limit the movement of people for a specific period of time across the country. The Coronavirus outbreak indeed triggered unemployment as many people lost their jobs in Afghanistan. As a positive response, the Government of Afghanistan has planned and initiated the Dastarkhwan-e-Meli Program to cope with economic impacts, caused by the Coronavirus pandemic across the country. The Citizens’ Charter National Priority Program of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD/CCNPP) is implementing Dastarkhwan-e-Meli Program in the rural areas.

So far, more than 497 households got the opportunity to receive relief packages consisted of food and non-food items across all 34 provinces of the country under the Dastarkhwan-e Meli program which was formally launched on 8th of December, 2020. The Jabagai Khanano village in Shinwari district of Nangarhar province is among many rural communities where 171 deserving households recently received the relief packages.

The Dastarkhwan-e-Meli program has been designed to support the poor households that face economic challenges and lost their daily income sources.

“There is no one in our family to financially support us. So, I have to work and feed my family comprised of 15 members. Unfortunately, we were affected financially soon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit our community.” Said Amin Gul 64, a villager and responsible for supporting his family.

While indicating to the economic impacts of Coronavirus, Amin Gul added. “My wife lost her life when she caught COVID-19. The rest of my family members were also infected. I am too old to work. However, I have to work and support my family because we don’t have any other sources of income. I used to work in the fields and district market in the past. After I was infected, I couldn’t come out of house and as a result, I lost my job. We are really in need of humanitarian assistance, provided by Dastarkhwn-e-Meli.”

Having received the relief packages, Amin Gul appreciated the assistance and said: “It helps save our lives and alleviate suffering in the community. Right now, my children don’t have anything to eat at home. We are quite satisfied with this program and strongly ask the government to help us further in future.”

Nearly, 85 thousand deserving households in 406 communities have receive the relieve packages in Nangarhar province.

Meanwhile, more than 497 thousand households in 3,639 communities of 120 districts in 34 provinces of Afghanistan have received relief packages totaling more than 2.27 billion Afghanis under the Citizens’ Charter National Priority Program in the rural areas.

Planned to be implemented in two phases, the Dastarkhwan-e-Meli Program is currently being implemented in villages and cities. The first phase of Dastarkhwan-e-Meli Program worth USD 86 million has already been launched in nearly 13 thousand communities related to 123 districts across all 34 provinces of the country under the coverage of the MRRD/CCNPP. As planned and set out, in the first phase, 1.67 million households in the rural areas will receive relief packages, valued at AFN 4,000 per household.

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