Shar-e-Cott, pt. 2

Posted By: Erica I met the elders of Shar-e-Cott, along with the other ACAP staff in the lumber yard of a large construction supply company. ACAP staff had pre-ordered and purchased the shovels, picks, gravel, lumber, wheelbarrows and other materials necessary to build a retention wall and irrigation system for the village of Shar-e-Cott. The…

Germany helping Afghans

Posted By: Erica I’m in Kunduz now, in the north of Afghanistan. Kunduz saw heavy fighting and bombardment in 2001, when coalition forces were attacking Taliban fighters fleeing to the north, but since then it’s been a relatively quiet province. A few suicide bombings last year and threats from local insurgent groups suggest that might…

Aid isn’t one-size-fits-all…

Posted By: Marla B. Erica’s story illustrates an interesting point. As you well know, we believe civilians suffering in armed conflict need and deserve help. The difficult question becomes ‘what kind of help’? This question cannot be answered without a firm grasp on the dynamics not only of this conflict but also of this particular…

Shar-e-Cott, pt. 1

Posted By: Erica In Afghanistan, even when there is the will and the resources, increasing security considerations often make it difficult to impossible to reach civilians caught in conflict. When I was in Gardez a couple of weeks ago, I witnessed an ACAP distribution of tools and materials to support a community construction project for…

Exploding Threat to Afghans

Posted By: Erica On May 30th, 110 nations [now 111] signed the Cluster Munitions Treaty in Dublin, Ireland. The treaty bans the use, development and stockpiling of cluster munitions–a type of weapon that when dropped aerially or ground-launched, disperses hundreds or thousands of tiny submunitions (or bomblets) that can cover an area as wide as…

Air Raids in Gardez

Posted By: Erica Today I went to a small city, Gardez, a few hours south of Kabul. I stayed at a UN guesthouse and at different points of the day and night you could hear the faint sound of gunfire and explosions in the distance. Although Gardez itself is relatively stable, it’s only about 10…

Disappearances, Pt. 2

Posted By: Erica When his family members went missing, Shafek went with his father and his uncle to the “front lines” of Kabul (ironically a road that is now so peaceful that my office is located there). They saw bodies strewn everywhere. Many of them had been mutilated, a woman’s head atop a man’s body,…