At this stage, you are probably aware of a going crisis in Afghanistan. You may also know that Afghanistan is heading to a catastrophe. In this article, we are going to explain what has caused this humanitarian crisis, how we as a business are affected, and how we are trying to help Afghans living in crisis.
First of all, here is a brief of what is going on in Afghansitan. First of all, since the Afghan government has collapsed;
- More than 400,000 government employees have either lost their job or haven’t been paid in the last four months.
- All of the manufacturing companies have closed down since August 2021, leaving hundreds of thousands of workers unemployed.
- Banks only allow people to withdraw only 200$ per week
- Businesses can only withdraw 5% of their balance
- No international flights are available from or to Afghanistan.
- Due to war or drought, agriculture has suffered severely
- Food prices due to closed borders and inflation as increased three to five times
As a result of the mentioned situation, it is expected that Afghanistan will suffer from a great catastrophe oncoming winter. World Food Organization has announced that without humanitarian aid, famine in the country will be inevitable.
What happened to us?
Even though everything has fallen apart in Afghanistan, our artisans around the country are still busy making beautiful carpets, as they have done during the last 40 years of war. The understanding the situation on the ground and the needs of Afghan carpet weavers, we decided to continue our business.
Drowning in chaos
As a business, you always want to solve your old challenges, improve your business and start solving new challenges. Unfortunately for us, not only the old challenges did not get solved, but also after the collapse of the government, we faced challenges that nearly forced us to stop our business. DHL closed its office in Afghanistan, no international flight was available, banks allow only 5% withdraw, and there was nobody to go to.
Adapting to turmoil
Of course, the crisis hit us the hardest that it could, but it was not the end for us. If we stop, not only our team will suffer financially and emotionally but also drag a significant number of Afghan families, who rely on the Afghan carpet industry, to extreme poverty.
We got in touch with carpet weavers in different parts of the country, and it seems that as long we can provide raw materials to artisans, we have no problem in producing the rugs. However, since major shipping companies like DHL and FedEx have closed their offices in Afghanistan and there is no flight for air shipping, we had to find a new way for our shipping. After negotiating with agents in Pakistan, we were able to develop a new shipping route for delivering our international shipping. From now on, first, we ship our packages to Pakistan via ground, and in Pakistan, we send our parcels via DHL, FedEx or UPS.
Even though it takes longer to ship a package, but in the end, it does not make any significant difference.
How our work impacts the life of afghans
The best way to know the importance of our work is to learn about the supply chain of Afghan handmade rugs; who makes these rugs, and where the raw materials come from?
It is estimated that about one million Afghans are sustaining income through the Afghan carpet industry. Female weavers, wool processing companies, finished carpet processing companies, and carpet sellers are significant players in the supply chain of the handmade carpet sector in Afghanistan. Moreover, as handmade carpet is one of the important expert items of Afghanistan, it plays a significant role in the growth of the Afghan economy.
Who earns income from Afghan handmade rugs?
- Wool producers (formers & sheep owners)
- Wool processing/dying companies (small local workshops)
- Carpet weavers (Mostly Women)
- Carpet washing/cutting companies (small companies in Kabul)
- Local collectors and sellers
As one of the major players in the Afghan carpet industry, we are trying to reduce the effect of the current crisis on the carpet industry. Each sale that we make means that we are helping Afghan families to have an income. We are trying our best to find a solution for every challenge that Afghan carpet weavers and sellers face.