Bamyan residents irked by ‘unjust’ aid distribution

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Residents of central Bamyan province complain of what they call in-justice and corruption in distri-bution of humanitarian assis-tance by donor agencies.

Hussain, a resident of Bamyan, told local media that there was no justice in the dis-tribution of aid in the province. The people who had relatives or friends in aid organizations 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 Refu-gees and Repatriation and National Disaster Manage-ment 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 be-lieved.

Najib, hailing from Punjab dis-trict, also said thousands of men and women suffering from financial problems wan-dered behind gates to donor agencies’ office to receive aid. “A number of organizations 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 as-sistance. 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 distribu-tion 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 do-nors. Meanwhile, Maulvi Mehdi, the head of intelligence at the Is-lamic Emirate in Bamyan, de-scribed a number of employ-ees of national and interna-tional charities as “discrimina-tory and unrighteous”.

He called on the institutions to “fire” them from their formation so that the process of provid-ing aid to the people of Bamyan could be done in a non-discriminatory and uni-form manner. “Residents of the central re-gions are living in greater poverty and hunger than other citizens of the country due to discrimination in the past. They need immediate humani-tarian assistance,” stressed Mehdi. On the other hand, Informa-tion Director Saifa Rahman Mohammadi confirmed con-cerns of Bamyan residents that aid was not distributed fairly and there was corruption in the process.“Every institution had con-ducted its own survey and dis-tributed aid accordingly. But now the governor is person-ally overseeing aid distribution in a bid to deliver assistance to the poor in time.”

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