War and Earthquake 2002
War in Afghanistan was the consequence of a United States invasion of the country, which saw the US and its allies aim to remove the Taliban from power and thus prevent al-Qaeda a base for its operations within the country. The conflict continued and involved, largely the US and Afghan Government troops fighting Taliban rebels.
Early in 2002, another disaster struck the Afghan people, already reeling from the effects of the ongoing conflict. A massive earthquake rocked the country, reportedly killing up to 1 000 people, injuring 4 000 and destroying some 1 500 houses. A total of 20 000 people were rendered homeless in the midst of continued fighting.
Gift of the Givers Response:
We actively responded to both crises, delivering essential aid to victims in a number of affected areas in Afghanistan. In addition and as a special project, we provided for meat distribution during the Islamic festival of Eid-ul-Adha, under exceptionally difficult circumstances for the benefit of Afghani civilians. With the outbreak of war, we dispatched a team from South Africa which was responsible for the effective and efficient distribution of all-weather tents, blankets, tons of medicines (specifically supplied hospitals in Kabul and Quetta) and many more tons of foodstuffs, inclusive of rice, dhall, vegetable ghee, milk powder, tea, sugar, flour and baby milk. Distribution areas included Kabul, Mazar-e-Shareef, Herat, Kandahar, Ghazni and Spin Boldak.
In April 2002, following the earthquake, 82 500 people benefited from our assistance to Nahreen, in the Province of Baghlan. Numerous tents and huge quantities of blankets, new clothing, food parcels and cash were distributed to the needy by our teams on the ground. This included many disabled refugees sheltering in a camp at Nasir Bagh. The total value of the package of aid provided by Gift of the Givers amounted to R10 million.