In the main Altor business we recently wrote to clients and one of the things that we reminded them of, is the huge improvement in life in the UK over the years. We stated that as recently as 200 years ago, UK living standards were as poor as those of modern day Afghanistan. Sadly Afghanistan is a country that gets used for such comparisons as it has so much potential but has been kept poor by repeated war and upheaval.
I suspect that most people are only too aware of how living standards have again slipped back with the recent withdrawal of Western governments, leaving the Taliban to retake the country. The news, whilst initially cautiously optimistic, has darkened as basic rights have been restricted. The country remains in the bottom 10 countries globally for poverty according to the World Bank.
Earlier in 2023 we heard an excellent talk from mountaineer James Bingham who had climbed extensively in the Hindu Kush. He fell in love with the country and started the first Afghanistan Marathon. Surprisingly 40% of the competitors were female and James decided to use sport as a way to bring development to the country. Unfortunately these efforts had to stop as the Taliban retook control of the country and started clamping down on such activities.
As Trustees we want to support the people of Afghanistan and the way that we have chosen to do this is through Tearfund who we have supported with other projects in the past. Tearfund work in the country giving out food parcels and also cash gifts to those in the greatest need. We receive feedback about the work of the project but have committed not to give any details publicly so as not to put at risk local Tearfund staff, partners and the beneficiaries.
“You have supported Tearfund’s local partners in Afghanistan in providing life-saving assistance to some of the most vulnerable people.”You have supported Tearfund’s local partners in Afghanistan in providing life-saving assistance to some of the most vulnerable people.”Tearfund August 2023