Helmand IDPs claim their aid misappropriated by elders
LASHKARGHAH (Pajhwok): Some internally displaced persons (IDPs) on Monday accused community councils’ members and elders of stealing assistance meant for distribution to them in southern Helmand province.
Thousands of families have been displaced by the ongoing war in Musa Qala, Nawzad, Sangin, Khanshin, Kajaki and some other parts of the province over the past two months.
“Refugee and repatriation department officials came to assess our situation, but they issued ration cards to members of local councils and local elders who distributed the aid among themselves,” one of the displaced persons from Sangin district, Khair Mohammad, told Pajhwok Afghan News in Sarwan Kala area near Lashkargah.
Another displaced person, Adam Khan, said the refugee and repatriation department and donor agencies had identified eligible people for the aid, but the assessment commission issued ration cards to local residents instead of the displaced families.
“The assessment commission tasked with distribution of the aid only gives the assistance to their relatives or others under a deal,” another displaced from Marja, Musa Jan, said.
Sahira, who arrived two months ago from Marja district, said she had not yet received any government assistance. “My two sons are mentally sick. I have no place to live in, so I live in a mosque,” she said.
However, the provincial refugee and repatriation director, Ghulam Farooq Noorzai, denied the allegations as baseless, saying the assessment commission was comprised of representatives of his department and donor agencies.
“We are also fed up with interferences of tribal elders, but the displaced people could not prove their claims,” he said, adding that nearly 2500 families had been displaced from different parts of the province.
Over the past 10 years, 19,873 families returning from Pakistan, Iran and some provinces are camped in Lashkargah, the provincial capital.
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