Winter brings another crisis to Afghanistan

By January 24, 2022

Afghanistan (MNN) — Afghans face yet another crisis as temperatures drop. Without food or heat, millions risk death by starvation or hypothermia.

“Afghanistan is a very cold country because it’s very mountainous. One of their severe [cold periods is] happening right now,” Reza* of Global Catalytic Ministries says.

“Many people are starving. People are even selling their children for food.”

Approximately 80-percent of Afghanistan’s former national budget came from the United States and other foreign donors. In August, the economy subsequently collapsed following the disastrous U.S. troop withdrawal and Taliban takeover.

As a landlocked nation, Afghanistan relies on imports for food and more, and the West isn’t likely to lift sanctions or banking restrictions anytime soon. According to the World Food Program, nearly 23 million Afghans face acute hunger; more than 8.5 million are “on the brink of starvation.”

From an underground leader: “They’re just waiting to see when they will die because it’s hopeless. These things (food) really bring hope again to their hearts and makes them see that yes, God cares for them.”
(Photo, caption courtesy of Global Catalytic Ministries)

The United Nations just made its biggest appeal ever for a single country, seeking $5 billion in aid for Afghanistan. But international donors remain skeptical, fearing their assistance will empower the Taliban – not help the people.

Furthermore, “not a lot (of relief work) is [being] done because the Taliban will not allow organizations to come and help it,” Reza says.

Activating hope in Afghanistan

One of the few groups with access to Afghanistan, Global Catalytic Ministries does all it can to keep people alive. “We brought money inside of the country to buy food for people; to buy coal [and] wood because it’s so cold,” Reza says.

“Not everywhere in Afghanistan has natural gas and electricity, so many people use coal and wood to keep their houses warm. We’ve been able to pass out many pounds of it [and] so much food.”

GCM helps believers survive today so they can plan for tomorrow. Afghanistan replaced North Korea on Open Doors’ World Watch List as the world’s worst persecutor of Christians in 2021. However, Reza believes the Lord is about to do something awe-inspiring in Afghanistan.

“One of the focuses we have for 2022 is to rebuild and restore the Church because two-thirds of the believers left the country,” Reza says.

“What has happened with the Taliban taking over the country is a Gideon moment. The believers are dwindling to maybe a few hundred. But through a few hundred, the Lord is going to take over the nation.”

Partner with Global Catalytic Ministries here. Right now, the “biggest [activity is] passing out food because no one has food, unfortunately. We’re passing out [food aid] to believers and non-believers,” Reza says.

 

*Pseudonym

 

 

Header and story images courtesy of Global Catalytic Ministries.