Losing income for two weeks really caused a financial strain for one innocent victim
15 MARCH 2012 | NANGARHAR, AFGHANISTAN
Fazal Agha had just bought some food for his family’s evening meal. As he neared his home, a convoy of international military vehicles passed him on the road. Suddenly, a car laden with explosives burst into a fireball. Fazal was knocked unconscious by the force of the blast and woke up in hospital.
While the international military is often the target, dozens of civilians are killed or injured each year by these bombs, also known as improvised explosive devices or IEDS.
Fazal, the father of five, was one of three civilians injured in the incident in Nangahar Province. Fortunately, nobody was killed. Fazel escaped with relatively minor shrapnel injuries and burns to his legs and back. He had to pay for a one week stay in hospital and could not work for two weeks. Living on the poverty line, this was something he could ill afford.
“Because of my injuries, I could not do my job as a watchman. This caused me lots of financial problems. Every day, people knocked on my door to collect on debts. These were very painful days for me,” said Fazal.
Through one of its projects, USAID provides assistance to civilians suffering loss, injury, or battle damage caused by insurgent groups, or coalition military operations. Fazal received a quantity of household items, including blankets, crockery, and a solar panel. He also received a clothing kit containing many tailoring items such as sewing machines and material.
Fazal’s wife and sisters are making full use of the clothing items to provide them with a steady income. “The kits really helped us with our financial problems. My wife and sisters are doing embroidery and my nephews are selling their products in the bazaar. This creates a good source of income for us.”
Through its assistance project, USAID has helped more than 9,600 families.
Last updated: January 12, 2015