From the event

8 Jan 2008

PR# 2008-010

ISAF, local organizations help returnee families

KABUL, Afghanistan – The Baghlan Province Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in collaboration with the department for returnees, the Afghan National Police and shura leaders in the camp, distributed blankets and clothes to 450 families in the biggest returnee camp in the province.

This massive joint operation helped people forced to flee their homes during the Taliban regime and returned to nothing, their houses gone and some with their land occupied by others. These returnees currently live with no proper shelter or permanent income and lack food, clothes and firewood.

“This is a very special moment for me to be here and watch the most needy of all people receive warm clothes,” said Capt. Zolt Molnar, Hungarian CIMIC section. “My heart is happy and today’s distribution is the reason why I joined this mission. The distribution really challenged us and required a lot of planning and it is great to see it all coming together.”

The returnees, many widows and children, were grateful to have these items.

“I didn’t have any winter clothes to give my children who were so cold they were crying,” said Fuzludin, a returnee and father of three. “Now I can return to my home with warm clothes and I cannot express with words what I am feeling.”

Both the department of returnees, PRT and non-govermental officials are working to find more long-term solutions. The government recently donated land to the returnees where a brick factory was built to provide bricks for houses and employment for 150 people.

Naim Kakar, head of the department for returnees, said the department and international organizations are working to alleviate the returnees’ suffering by providing emergency aid, jobs and housing.

“I have lived in the returnee camp for the past three years after I returned from Pakistan,” said Ghowsudin, a returnee. “Our lives are not perfect here but we are really grateful for the help we are getting from the government and the PRT in the province. They donated clothes and blankets at the time of year when we were desperate for warm clothes two years in a row.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/