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Afghanistan Response Team to Help Refugees Rebuild Homes

Afghanistan Response Team to Help Refugees Rebuild Homes

AMERICUS, Ga., April 5, 2002 - Habitat for Humanity International is helping the people of Afghanistan reconstruct their houses and their lives by donating building materials and tools to returning refugees as part of HFHI’s Afghanistan Response initiative, officials with the nonprofit organization announced Friday.

Mazar-e-Sharif will serve as a base of operations for Habitat’s Afghanistan Response team, with rebuilding efforts focused on the northern and northeastern regions of Jawzjan, Balkh, Faryab, Kunduz, Baghlan, Takhar and Badakshan. The project, directed by HFHI’s Disaster Response Office, will provide tools and building materials to help the people in those areas reconstruct existing houses.

“The people of Afghanistan are in desperate need of aid after enduring years of poverty under the Taliban regime, months of bombing during the war and finally a devastating earthquake,” said Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International, referring to the tremor on March 25 that killed nearly 1,000 people and destroyed 100,000 houses in northern Afghanistan. “We are hoping this aid work will transition into Habitat having a long-term presence in Afghanistan.”

According to United Nations statistics, there are more than 1 million internally displaced people and more than 3.5 million refugees affected. With the restoration of relative peace and order in much of the country, the establishment of an interim government and the coming of spring, hundreds of thousands of refugees are already heading home for their villages. Many of them are returning from refugee camps to find their houses looted and lacking doors, windows and roofs.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2,000 communities in 83 nations have built and sold more than 120,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.