The News International, April 13, 2001

RAWA donates refugees flour bags

Over 500 flour bags were distributed by RAWA
More photos

PESHAWAR: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) on Thursday distributed ten tones of flour among the recently arrived Afghan refugees at Jallozai camp, some 34 kilometer from here.

Over 500 flour bags were distributed by the representatives of RAWA among 500 refugee families living at the newly established camp at Jallozai.

RAWA members at that occasion appealed to donor agencies, to extend more aid to those refugees who are being displaced as a result of drought. -APP

DAWN, April 13, 2001

RAWA distributes flour among refugees

By Mohammad Riaz

PESHAWAR, April 12: The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) distributed 500 bags of flour amongst the needy Afghan refugees at the Jalozai camp, approximately 30 kilometres southeast of Peshawar, on Thursday.

The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan team, led by Halima and Sajida Hayat, had visited the area some days ago, undertook a survey of needy refugees and issued them cards for the collection of flour, said a spokeswoman for Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan.

The RAWA had distributed quilts among the newly arrived refugees at the same camp some time ago. These refugees were still short of clean drinking water, food and proper shelter, she added.

KHYBER MAIL, April 13, 2001

RAWA distributes flour bags among Afghan refugees

By Khalid Khan Kheshgi

PESHAWAR: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) Thursday distributed 500 bags of flour among the destitute families of the makeshift Jalozai refugee camp, some 25 kilometer away from here.

The distribution process was, however delayed for about one hour from its due time, when a scuffle took place between the cardholders refugees of the tended village, housing about 72,000 refugees.

The RAWA, an NGO working for the basic rights of war-ravaged Afghan people inside and outside Afghanistan, donated 500 bags (20Kg) of flour to the fresh Afghan refugees, who were given special cards either by refugee camp administrator or RAWA organizers. The RAWA members, cladding in special uniforms, distributed the flour bags among refugees. "It's probably the tenth time that the RAWA members are donating aid items to the Afghan refugees." claimed Lima, an activist of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

The refugees, majority of them girl children, were sitting in long queues in the premises of the refugee camp administration (Commandari) and receiving flour bags in an organized manner, but outside the main gate the area was huddled by a large number of bearded -Afghan men and shuttlecock burqa-wearing women, who were not provided special cards. When asked one of the organizers said that these people were either old refugees or waiting for their family members inside the gate.

A temporary disruption happened when about 60 shuttlecock burqa-wearing women stormed into the venue where flour bags were to be distributed. The security members pushed them back by beating them with sticks and heavy Chadar (shawls).

The Jalozai refugee camp where the life condition of the newly arrived Afghan refugees is worsening day by day, is now being faced with water shortage both for drinking and daily usage. "The water shortage will intensified further at Jalozai camp during the coming summer season if the problem was not properly calculated and solved, " Allahdad Durrani, area incharge of the camp feared. He said that there were about 14,000 families registered with the camp of which 12,042 were given special UNHCR registration cards, he added.

The Statesmen, April 13, 2001

Food-seeking Afghan refugees baton-charged

PESHAWAR: Scores of starving Afghan refugees were baton-charged, Thursday by their fellow countrymen when they gate crashed to get wheat flour being distributed by Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).

Men were violently beaten up with sticks, women and young girls pushed and dragged out of the area commander's office at Jalozai refugee camp, around 25 kilometer from here.

The charged and tens atmosphere forced the other refugees waiting outside the office to dash in. On seeing them enter the gate, the security staff and the insiders sprang towards them to stop them and scuffles broke out between them. Both the sides freely used their sticks, blows and bricks and looked for things they could use as weapons.

They hurled abuses at each other. It was a free for all. The security staff made a gigantic effort to tame the mob. They waved their guns in the air to intimidate them and managed to calm them down.

Lamenting the unfortunate incident, Lema Hamidi, a RAWA member, told the Statesmen that following a survey conducted by RAWA, they had themselves invited the women badly beaten with "chadars woven and twisted into ropes" by the Afghans controlling the crowd inside the office, to receive their atta share. She said the association didn't have any complaints against the commander's office staff.

Lal Mohammad, an Afghan elder, said most of those gathered inside were professionals and repeatedly receiving aid they did not deserve at all.

The aid should have gone to those waiting outside as they are starving, " he said in a faint voice.

RAWA had brought 500 atta bags weighing 10 tons to distribute among the refugees. One bag contained 20 Kilos of atta. There are 14,000 families living at the Jalozai camp under inhuman conditions.

Kifayetollah, a refugee, accused the commander's office staff of being involved in irregularities. Because of them, genuine new arrived don't get their food share and the fight was the result of that injustice".

A security official said it was pretty hard to distribute aid among women as they always created problems. He said they always advised aid-distributors to dole out the staff to males.

Earlier, Allahdad Dorrani, area incharge, Jalozai refugee camp, said the recent rain affected around 4,000 families who were later shifted to nearby mosque. He said summer was fast approaching and an outbreak of fatal diseases including those of the skin could not be ruled out.

Potable water would be another major problem as in summer people consumed more water than in any other season, he said. He added at present they were supplying seven tankers of water but in summer they would need much more than that. That's quite difficult to manage because there are not tube-wells around," he said.

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