AFGHANISTAN (Army News Service, July 11, 2012) --- Haji Faizal Mohammand, the governor of the district of Panjwai, Afghanistan; Panjwai mayor Haji Mahmood and U.S. Soldiers stationed in the area stood outside the gate of the district's headquarters on July 5, 2012, to deliver humanitarian aid packages to local villagers.

The program is directed at those who have fallen on hard times or have been forced to leave their villages due to insurgent activities in the area.

"This morning we handed out 60 packages to displaced citizens here in the Panjwai district," said 1st Lt. Andrew Marsh, the Civil Affairs Team 616 team leader with 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

The packages contain staples like tea, cooking oil, sugar, salt and rice. Each package's contents will be enough to supply one Afghan family with food for a month.

"I think that the people clearly need our help; they don't have access to a lot of food or a stable economy to have jobs so they can actually purchase the food they need," Marsh said.

To solve the problem, local maliks, or village elders, came together and created a list of the people in their area who were in need of these humanitarian aid packages. The list was then sent to the district governor to be approved. Once a family was approved to receive assistance, the supplies were gathered and word was sent out for each family to nominate one representative to come and collect the aid package.

These humanitarian aid distributions have a positive impact on the local villagers on behalf of not only the U.S. Soldiers, but the local Afghan government officials, as well.

"Every Monday a shura [consultation] is held here at the district headquarters for the village elders to come speak about any security concerns the villages are having, along with new ways to create jobs for the local villagers to help build their economy so that they will have jobs to be able to put food on the table," Marsh said.

Page last updated Wed July 11th, 2012 at 19:43