Chinese charities offer relief supplies to Afghan students amid harsh winter
Published: Jan 20, 2023 01:36 AM
Photo: Courtesy of Wang Duanyong

Photo: Courtesy of Wang Duanyong

Relief supplies have been sent by Chinese NGOs to Afghanistan recently to help hundreds of children amid a harsh winter and shortage of supplies.

Research shows that the majority of Afghanistan's households are struggling to access basic necessities, including warmth and healthcare, and many families are putting kids to bed with empty stomachs. Data from international NGOs showed that more than 90 percent of Afghans don't have enough food, and the hardships families endured last year feel insurmountable this year, National Public Radio (NPR) reported.

On January 7, representatives of Chinese charity groups arrived in Ghazni, a city in east-central Afghanistan, to provide food aid for two months for 320 primary and middle school students in two local welfare schools.

For more than a year, due to the worsening economic situation in Afghanistan, the interim government's public finances have been unable to support the social welfare work. The suspension of international assistance to Afghanistan has worsened the plight of Afghan people, especially children, so emergency aid is badly needed, Zheng Gang, co-leader of the charity Friends of Hindu Kush Organization (FHKO), which carried out the donations, told the Global Times.

Photo: Courtesy of Wang Duanyong

Photo: Courtesy of Wang Duanyong

US-led sanctions on the Taliban administration and the freezing of billions in Afghanistan's currency reserves have obstructed outside aid to the country.

Zheng said that the two welfare schools in Ghazni are mostly for orphans and children of single parents with financial difficulties, and they have been relying mainly on local aid.

The country's economy has deteriorated for more than a year and aid funds have dried up, making these two schools unsustainable. The FHKO responded immediately after receiving the request for help from the schools, and it came up with a plan soon after preliminary onsite research, Wang Duanyong, co-leader of the FHKO, told the Global Times.

As the FHKO's representative in Afghanistan, Wang procured enough food supplies to last through the whole winter and sent them to the two welfare schools as soon as possible.

"At present, the security situation in Afghanistan is still unstable. We overcame various difficulties in the whole process and finally handed over the aid supplies. Ghazni is 150 kilometers from the Afghan capital, Kabul, and we took a drive for nearly four hours amid poor road conditions, freezing temperatures and heavy snow," said Wang.

Photo: Courtesy of Wang Duanyong

Photo: Courtesy of Wang Duanyong

The head of a welfare school said that it was the first time the school had received foreign aid since its establishment, and the children would remember the kindness from China. The local community leader also spoke highly of the aid and expressed the hope that China would continue to pay attention to help Afghanistan in post-war reconstruction and peace restoration, Wang noted.

This donation was also supported by Chinese compatriots in Afghanistan who joined the team as volunteers, he added.

The aid project was funded by the China Foundation for Rural Development and a Chinese company from East China's Jiangsu Province.

The project is part of Smiling Children, an international charity program advocated by the China Foundation for Rural Development. Smiling Children is designed to convey the care and friendship of the Chinese people by distributing food to suffering children in developing countries. The project was first launched in Ethiopia and Sudan in 2015, and has been carried out in Ethiopia, Sudan, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan and other countries.