Posted on January 03, 2015

Qatar Red Crescent’s (QRC) permanent office in Afghanistan has distributed winter relief worth QR500,000 to Pakistani refugees in Paktika province, southeastern Afghanistan, said The Peninsula. The beneficiaries, included those who fled the armed conflicts and insecurity in Northern Pakistani provinces and internally displaced people in the Afghan provinces of Helmand and Heart, QRC said in a statement.

QRC staff, in cooperation with Afghan Red Crescent staff, distributed non-food items to 1,500 families (10,500 people) out of 21,000 Pakistani families (765,000 people) who sought refuge in Afghanistan, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports. Assistance consisted of wood heaters ($30 each), family-size blankets ($17 each) and winter clothing packages for children ($32 each). Afghan Red Crescent, popular committees and the Shura Council prepared lists of beneficiaries who had no source of income, families whose breadwinners are widows or children, and families with orphans or disabled members.

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The relief items were purchased from a local supplier following a sealed-bid tender supervised by the project’s steering committee. Procurements were checked for compliance with set standards in terms of quality and storage. “We appreciate QRC’s efforts to help the people affected by the cold winter. Last year, the country was badly hit by frost, let alone the increasing numbers of Pakistani refugees,” said Hajj Sayed Fadhel Allah Waheedi, Governor of Herat. 

Alam Khan, a Pakistani refugee and beneficiary, said they had fled Pakistan because of the war, with no shelter or food and had been living under trees in the mountains. The distribution was part of QRC’s Warm Winter campaign for 2014-2015 which targets QR5m of assistance, including blankets, mattresses, pillows, heaters, heating oil and school jackets for the poorest in Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan and Kashmir and at refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and northern Iraq.