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BANKING DETAILS

SADAQAH, LILLAH, ZAKAAT

Account Name: Africa Muslims Agency
Bank Name: Standard Bank
Account Number: 061565253
Branch Code: 00 52 05
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ

PROJECTS (eg Waterwell, Masjid, etc)

Account Name: AMA Projects Account
Bank Name: Standard Bank
Account Number: 242017223
Branch Code: 005205
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ
Ref: Cell No and Waterwell / Borehole / Masjid

 

AMA fills NGO gap in remote parts of Lebanon and Afghanistan amidst harsh winter

AMA has started distributing winter rescue packages for families living in refugee tents in Lebanon as well as in remote villages in Afghanistan as conditions worsen.

Fires ravaging through camps and engulfing everything have become all too familiar in Lebanon’s refugee camps. As the biting cold hits the camps, families resort to burning their possessions, including clothing and plastic sheets to stay warm. This often results in raging fires which devastated hundreds of tents, however, families are left with no other option if they are to survive the winter.

“There are days where I don’t eat so my younger siblings can get some food,” an 18-year-old girl living in a refugee camp in Lebanon’s western Beqaa region told the AMA team.

The ground in the camp is muddied and pools of water collect after heavy rainfall. Inside the tents, which some of the refugees have lived in for years, the floor is covered with rain water, despite this being where people sleep.

Every winter, temperatures in the Beqaa region of Lebanon reach -4 degrees, with snowfall blanketing large areas. Without proper infrastructure, dirty water seeps into the tents before they fully collapse leaving people homeless.

AMA has responded by launching a Winter Rescue campaign, with the emergency assistance including heaters, food, clothing, blankets and water.

Sitting on the cold floor, a Syrian refugee says that the conditions have left her unable to see a reason to live.

“Sometimes I wish that I wasn’t alive so I wouldn’t have to go through this,” a teenage Syrian refugee told us during a visit to one of the camps. As well as her having her own children to look after, the girl’s mother has also adopted a young boy, whose father died and mother abandoned because she was unable to provide for him.

The winter rescue assistance is well received by the refugees living in the camps, particularly those living in hard to reach areas, which some residents tell AMA have not been visited by NGOs for over six months.

Winter Rescue in Afghanistan

A similar situation is unfolding in Afghanistan, where snowfall has already started to cover large swathes of land.

In remote villages hidden in the mountains, NGOs and emergency aid rarely makes its way up.

Long winding roads become even more treacherous during the winter, with many NGOs and charities not willing to take the risk to travel. Millions of people are immediately cut off due to the poor access to villages.

Snow covering the mountains and a lack of clean water also makes it increasingly difficult for people to earn a livelihood, as it becomes almost impossible to go to work, grow crops or sustain livestock.

The situation is difficult for almost everyone, as people are left to fend for themselves and find different ways to find food and clean water. Some will wait for their neighbours to finish eating to see of there is any left-overs, while others will ration bread to make sure it lasts for days.

With the price of basic goods swelling, and any income shrinking significantly, basic goods such as firewood are hard to obtain.

People living in remote villages told AMA that every winter comes with extreme anxiety and fears of what could happen, particularly to young children who have poor immunity.

Last year, the UN’s refugee agency spokesman Babar Baloch highlighted the urgency of getting emergency aid into Afghanistan before winter is fully underway.

“Winter in Afghanistan can kill if people do not have the resources and if you end up being under the open skies,” he said. “So it is really merciless, it is very important to get that support to reach more and more Afghans as soon as possible,” he added.

As Afghanistan becomes one of the world’s worst emergencies around the world, AMA has been on the ground filling in gaps where other NGOs have not been able to reach.

Through AMA’s winter rescue campaign, we ensure that local people are empowered and involved in the process of their development and needs. AMA consults locals and have staff on the ground regularly carrying out monitoring and evaluation in an effort to support those most in need.

Women headed households, which are already at a higher risk of child marriage, gender-based violence and abuse as basic essentials become even more scarce are in even greater need of support. By including women in decision-making processes and consulting them for their needs, AMA is slowly breaking the cycle of poverty.

 

This article was originally published on Muslim Views.
Writer: Nadda Osman
Photographer: Farshad Omari


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