Poor deprived of govt’s bread distribution initiative: Residents

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The poor were left out of a plan recently implemented by the Afghan government to provide free bread specifically for needy families in Kabul, say protesters.

The initiative involved providing aid through the city’s bakeries, and along with problems caused by overcrowding amid the COVID-19 outbreak, residents say the plan failed because the lists of families to be given the bread were incorrect and not transparent.

On Thursday, angry residents in some areas of the capital gathered in large crowds to express these concerns.

They said that many of the needy families were deprived of the free bread in the distribution initiative.

Protesters who gathered in PD17 of Kabul said that the lists that were provided to the bakers did not include the needy people living in the vicinity.

“When we consulted the sub-district office, they said that you ‘do not have a street counselor, are not those people living in mountain Muslims,’” said Shoaib, a resident in PD17

“The list that was provided to us by the head of the sub-district and his deputy–we did not see our names in it. It was very funny. When we called those on this list, one of them said ‘I am in Kandahar’ and another said ‘I am in Badam Bagh of Kabul,’” said Qari Ahmad Mukhtar, mosque Imam in PD17.

Similar issues were seen in Kabul’s PD13 and PD8.

This comes a day after Kabul’s mayor pledged to address the issue.

“We didn’t say there will no violations, we know the situation in our country; certainly, some foul play will be had, but we will take serious measures,” said Kabul’s mayor Daud Sultanzoi.

Meanwhile, some private charity organizations launched separate food distribution programs to the poor in some areas of Kabul. “We are a 7-member family at home and I am the only breadwinner,” said Shaheem, a worker of Kabul’s municipality.

“178 workers of Kabul municipality today benefited from the aid,” said Wais Alizai, the head of a charity in Kabul. (TOLOnews)