Winters can be fatal for farming families in rural Afghanistan. Especially in Ghor, one of the most remote and difficult to reach areas in the country, farming is not just a means for self-reliance, but a necessity for survival itself.

As increasingly harsh and erratic winters become the norm with a changing climate, it is these remote families that are at most risk. Aside from thick blankets of snow covering the land, droughts pose the biggest threat, as without water farmers struggle to cultivate their crops and provide the food they so desperately need to keep their animals alive. 

Giving farmers back their independence

In particular, last winter’s drought  - the worst seen in decades - devastated large swathes of the region. Wheat harvests were down 57% on previous years, pushing families further into poverty and meaning they had less money and time to prepare for this winter. It might be surprising, but without the infrastructure in place, just one bad winter like this can keep communities trapped in vicious cycles of extreme poverty for multiple years. 

As Abdul Aziz, head of a house of five explains, “This year, when the drought increased, I lost most of my animals due to drought and bad weather conditions.”

Mobilising resources to those most in need 

At Afghanaid, we have been working throughout this winter season in Ghor to help alleviate some of the damage done. We've been working with regional governing bodies to identify 3,000 farming families spread across 99 communities who were most in need. Through locally-run Community Development Councils we set up in these villages, we were able to equip farmers with concentrated animal feed and training in proper livestock management. 

“I heard that Afghanaid were helping people like me.” Abdul Aziz explains “I contacted the head of my local Community Council and received 100kg of animal feed along with technical training in how to take care of my animals.”

“Thank you Afghanaid for helping us and all the families who suffered from the drought. With this kind of support, livestock owners will be able to look after their animals throughout the winter period and provide for their families.”

Winters in Afghanistan can be difficult for every community. To read about how we have worked to help vulnerable families displaced by violence or climate-induced natural disasters get through the winter months, click here.

How you can help

Become a regular donor today and you can ensure that vulnerable farming families continue receiving support when they need it most. 

Set up a regular gift