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Cash Assistance Paves the Way for Zubaida in Herat

Zubaida's success story in Herat

Herat, located in western Afghanistan, is a province with a population of approximately 3,780,000 people. The province consists of nineteen districts, including Injil, where Zubaida, a 30-year-old woman, resides. Zubaida faced domestic violence, resulting in severe burns on her face. She came back to live in her father's home in Deh Sheikh Village of Injil district, along with her youngest son. Her father, an elderly man, was previously engaged in agriculture but now faces unemployment due to droughts and other challenges. The family's situation was further exacerbated by the absence of three of Zubaida's children, who live with her ex-husband in Karkh district.


Zubaida found herself in a vulnerable position, lacking income to provide for her family's basic needs, including food and heating items. Medical treatment for her burn injuries remained unattainable due to financial constraints. The lack of job opportunities in her village and district added to the difficulties she faced.


ActionAid, Afghanistan implemented the AHF funded project called Food security assistance to vulnerable households in Herat which was implemented in Injil and Guzara districts of Herat. - 950 beneficiaries were selected in Injil and767 beneficiaries from Guzara districts. Zubaida's household was among the beneficiaries selected for the cash for the food assistance project, which provided support for a duration of six months. This intervention aimed to address immediate food and nutrition needs, empowering vulnerable households to prioritize their requirements and improve their well-being.


The cash assistance provided to Zubaida was a crucial support that allowed her to prioritize her family’s needs. Throughout the six-month duration, she was able to use the funds to buy essential food items like flour, beans, oil, sugar, tea, meat, rice, and other necessary food supplies. The cash assistance enabled Zubaida to make choices that directly benefited her family’s well-being.

Zubaida expressed satisfaction with the humanitarian assistance received, as it helped her family endure the harsh winter and mitigate the effects of drought. 

Direct cash assistance provides individuals with the agency to determine their most pressing needs, enhancing the effectiveness of humanitarian responses. By allowing beneficiaries to prioritize their own requirements, cash aid respects their dignity and autonomy. In Zubaida’s situation, this method proved to be effective in meeting her immediate needs and enhancing the well-being of her family. Throughout the six-month period in which Zubaida received cash assistance for food, she experienced a positive outcome.

She passed a good period that every month, she was able to buy various essential food items that were needed at home.

Lessons Learned:

continued support and humanitarian assistance are crucial for vulnerable households like Zubaida's, creating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods and long-term development. By investing in education and providing avenues for skill development, the cycle of poverty can be broken, enabling individuals and communities to build brighter and more prosperous futures.