BAMYAN CITY (Pajhwok): Residents of central Bamyan province complain of what they call injustice and corruption in distribution of humanitarian assistance by donor agencies.
Hussain, a resident of Bamyan, told Pajhwok Afghan News there was no justice in the distribution of aid in the province. The people who had relatives or friends in aid organisations had been declared eligible for receiving aid, he charged.
“I have not received any aid so far. Only a small number of people got assistance from WFP, Department of Refugees and Repatriation and National Disaster Management Authority.”
Hussain maintained: “There is brazen corruption in the aid distribution process in Bamyan,” He also complained about escalating food prices and unemployment.
The rise of the dollar against the afghani led to a dramatic increase in prices of food and other essential items in the market of Bamyan, he believed.
Najib, hailing from Punjab district, also said thousands of men and women suffering from financial problems wandered behind gates to donor agencies’ office to receive aid.
“A number of organisations are distributing aid to a certain ethnic group, which is unfair. Poor people from all ethnic groups should benefit from aid,” he commented.
Bakhtawar and Masuma, two resourceless women from Bamyan City, said they visited to the donor agencies’ offices every morning in quest of assistance. They urged charities and local officials to ensure justice in distributing aid.
They feared hundreds of poor families in the province would starve to death if aid distribution continued on the basis of ethnicity and favouritism.
Bakhtawar and Masuma added: “A few days ago, a family in our neighbourhood sold their 30-month-old child due to poverty and starvation. Our children are also at risk of starvation.”
The women claimed they had been insulted, humiliated and even beaten by the forces of the Islamic Emirate in their struggle to get help from donors.
Meanwhile, Maulvi Mehdi, the head of intelligence at the Islamic Emirate in Bamyan, described a number of employees of national and international charities as “discriminatory and unrighteous”.
He called on the institutions to “fire” them from their formation so that the process of providing aid to the people of Bamyan could be done in a non-discriminatory and uniform manner.
“Residents of the central regions are living in greater poverty and hunger than other citizens of the country due to discrimination in the past. They need immediate humanitarian assistance,” stressed Mehdi.
On the other hand, Information Director Saifa Rahman Mohammadi confirmed concerns of Bamyan residents that aid was not distributed fairly and there was corruption in the process.
“Every institution had conducted its own survey and distributed aid accordingly. But now the governor is personally overseeing aid distribution in a bid to deliver assistance to the poor in time.”
According to Mohammadi, food aid packages, clothes, cash and kitchen utensils have been distributed to hundreds of poor and starving families in Bamyan so far. The process is still ongoing.
Mohammadi believed some residents might have been mistreated by Islamic Emirate forces who were trying to ensure security and avoid disorder.