IDPs in Herat

Displaced Families Desperate for Food and Shelter in Herat

This upcoming winter, thousands of displaced families face a lack of food, warm winter cloth, and heating materials in the western Herat province. Some of these families complain that they have not received any aid after the Taliban returned to power.

“We have not received any attention since the Taliban came [to power]. Neither do we have food to eat nor do we have anything to wear,” says Shahabuddin, who has been displaced along with his family of 10 in Herat.

He said that all the internally displaced persons (IDPs) settled in the Sabz-e-Shaydayee Township of Herat live in bad conditions.

If the harsh living condition of the IDPs remains unaddressed, he expressed concern some IDPs would be fallen ill or even die.

Kimya is a woman who was displaced from the northern Faryab province to Herat 10 years ago, along with her son, who has a disability. She earns a living by begging for money and working as a cleaner.

“We don’t have even a spoon of [cooking] oil in our home. The past government was good at addressing our situation. Now, winter is coming. We have neither a good shelter nor the ability to buy heating materials,” she says.

According to the IDPs, many organizations have surveyed their living conditions, but they have yet to receive any aid.

Meanwhile, the Taliban’s Directorate of Refugees and Repatriation in Herat rejected these complaints of the IDPs.

The local authority claimed that it had distributed in-cash aid and non-cash kits for 15,000 displaced families since the beginning of this year with the help of international organizations.

Deputy Head of the Taliban’s Directorate, Mawlawi Abdul Ghafoor Jalali, said that aid distribution continues for the IDPs.

There is no newly released figure regarding the number of IDPs.

Estimated figures during the previous government suggested that more than a million people were displaced either by war or draught from Badghis, Farah, Ghor, Faryab, Helmand, and Nimruz provinces to Herat in recent years.

The Taliban local Directorate claimed that there are three million IDPs in Afghanistan, adding that 80,000 to 85,000 have been able to return to their homes after receiving assistance.