“We Don’t Have Even a Loaf of Bread at Home to Eat”

Miss Fatima, the grandmother of two orphans feels hopeful about her future. She has lost her son, who was the only breadwinner, due to conflicts in the region in the recent year. Fatima is responsible for looking after her two grandchildren and daughter-in-law who left behind her martyred son. Sometimes, the life is getting harder for her as she is obliged to get involved in tedious jobs, even at the age of 60, to provide a loaf of bread for her grandchildren to survive on.

This painful story covers Fatima’s household’s difficulties and sufferings caused by Covid-19 outbreak. She is one of the Dastarkhwan-e-Meli Program’s beneficiaries’ who has received a relief package in Qaramab village, Karukh district of Herat province. A total of 120 deserving households in this community have received relief packages, consisted of food and non-food items under the Citizens’ Charter National Priority Program of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD/CCNPP).

Fatima expressed extreme happiness over the distribution of the relief package to her and affirmed that the food assistance she received would play an important role in the survival



Distribution process of relief packages


of her widow and orphans on the ground. While displaying her identity card (Tazkira), she appeared in the distribution center along with her two orphan grandchildren and received the relief package. “We are very grateful to Dastarkhwan-e-Meli Program for providing us with food items, right at a time when both Coronavirus disease and drought have affected us hard simultaneously. Believe me; we don’t have even a loaf of bread at home to eat. Thanks to the Dastarkhwan-e-Meli that took our hands in such an appalling and disastrous situation”, added Fatima.


Even though Fatima reveals that these relief packages are not sufficient, she acknowledges that the distribution process took place in quite a transparent manner at community level. She insists that this relief assistance can benefit the vulnerable and impoverished layer of the community to a great extent during certain conditions.


It should be pointed out that 37,991 households in 222 communities of six districts in Herat province have so far received relief packages under Dastarkhwan-e-Meli Program.

As a whole, as of May 02, 2021, more than 578 thousand households in 4,348 communities of 122 districts in 34 provinces of Afghanistan have received relief packages totaling more than 1.47 billion Afghanis.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in negative economic impacts on the lives of people, especially the poor & daily wage-earners. The Government of Afghanistan has initiated a relief response program – called Dastarkhwan-e Meli – that would be implemented in cities and villages. Dastakhwan-e Meli program is planned to be implemented in two phases.

The first phase of Dastarkhwan-e-Meli Program worth USD 86 million has already been launched in nearly 13 thousand communities related to 123 districts across all 34 provinces of the country under the coverage of the MRRD/CCNPP. As planned and set out, 1.67 million households in the rural areas will receive relief packages, valued at AFN 4,000 per household.