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How An Afghan e-Commerce Platform Helps With Humanitarian Crisis

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How An Afghan e-Commerce Platform Helps With Humanitarian Crisis

How has Aseel’s e-commerce work been impacted since the recent political developments in Afghanistan?

Aseel platform, website and iOS/Android mobile application, were initially designed to support and connect Afghan artisans, especially artisans in rural Afghanistan, overnight cialis to the international market and customers. We enrolled more than 40 small family-owned and women-owned businesses from all over Afghanistan and sold over 10,000 superactive levitra handmade products to the people in countries like US, Australia, and the UK. We used to ship all our products through DHL, International Shipping Service, from Bagram Airbase. Before the Taliban Takeover, overnight the US cheapest price viagra decided to close Bagram Airfield and we lost our main supply chain. We were prepared though and had found 3 other alternatives in case this wasn’t going to work, for another few weeks we used those routes and after the Taliban

takeover, all the supply chain routes out of Afghanistan came to a levitra generic cialis stop. Now we have to find ways of sending our products cross-border to Pakistan and then buy propecia generic ship them to the US and elsewhere. This means a much-prolonged delivery time but most of our customers don’t really care much about that because the prices of the vendors are Afghan prices, much lower, and the fact that the products come from Afghanistan and they want to support Afghanistan. In addition to us communicating with them before, as soon as an order comes in and after on a weekly

basis.  After the Taliban takeover, as buy branded cialis a platform that was committed to supporting people and development, we decided to use our platform as a means to support our people. So, we launched the Aseel ‘Emergency Response’ section and sent an email to all our current customers, and started getting donations. Our team executed discounted cialis online rounds of distributions in Kabul for the IDPs and families in need. We did have big rounds of distributions in other provinces like Kandahar, Logar, Ghazni, Kunar, Kabul and soon will have in other provinces like Helmand, Zabul, Mazar and Herat, and we are supporting 5-10 families (who filled out beneficiary forms) on a daily basis every day regardless of which province they live in. Within 3 and half months, we have supported more than 21,000 individuals in different provinces. We have organized teams of volunteers (more than 300 individuals) in different provinces of Afghanistan that can support the dissemination of these emergency packages and a team of volunteers out of Afghanistan that can help us make partnerships with donors, media agencies, social media, and so on.

Please share a little about how the app is helping with the humanitarian crisis.

The Aseel iOS/ Android mobile application and website allow people to purchase necessary aid packages and our team on the ground will deliver them to the families in need inside Afghanistan. The aid packages were designed based on our research from the ground and the people’s need that include emergency food packages, emergency medical packages, emergency baby care packages, emergency life packages, and winter packages. The platform

also allows people to donate a certain amount of money and let Aseel decide on buying the packages for the affected families. Also, the app and website enable people to support specific families inside Afghanistan through “Aseel Beneficiary Forms”. This option is best for those who have relatives or their families are still living inside Afghanistan. The donor basically fills out the Aseel beneficiary forms, receives a beneficiary ID #, and then donates any aid package. The beneficiary ID helps both the donors and the beneficiaries to track the delivery of the aid packages. Furthermore, the Aseel app and website also engage people from all around the world to create fundraiser campaigns to support people in Afghanistan and volunteer. For example, Pashtana Durrani, the executive director for Learn Afghanistan, uses the Aseel campaign to raise funds for 145 displaced families in Kandahar province. In addition to the campaigns, people can volunteer with Aseel regardless of their geographic area. Aseel volunteer forms are available online for everyone who wishes to take part in helping Afghan people with the current crisis.

Aseel volunteers inside Afghanistan will help with identifying the families and delivering emergency relief to them. And volunteers outside the country help Aseel with raising awareness on the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in Afghanistan to engage and bring in more people to support war-affected Afghans. We know for a fact that our fintech system which was in place way before this crisis started, custom solutions development, and global connection with the rest of the world is much better than large-scale international development institutions and charity organizations. At the same time, we are an Afghan company that was born out of Afghanistan and went on to try to become a global company means that we can deal with the Taliban a lot better than others, we understand scaling and growth from a startup perspective which is a great fit for the current situations.

Have the Taliban caused any problems to your humanitarian work? 

We have not faced any issues with the Taliban at the moment because we are not supported by any international organizations and all the funds that we have received so far have come from the donations made by individuals outside the country. With no distractions, we had successful rounds of distributions in provinces like Kandahar, Logar, Ghazni, Kabul, Kunar, and we continue to have our distributions in other provinces.

How do you see the future of e-commerce under the Taliban?

There are two opposite things here, the Taliban and innovation & technology. The future of eCommerce businesses and technology as a whole depends on how the Taliban sees it. Indeed, technology is evolving so as the e-commerce, and it affects every country including Afghanistan. So far, the Taliban has set rules and boundaries on the ways that things are done based on the sharia law. Therefore, even if we have to continue to have an e-commerce business in Afghanistan, it has to be executed within the boundaries that the Taliban define. Moreover, for the e-commerce platforms to continue their operations in Afghanistan, the basic infrastructure which is the internet and the freedom of using the internet are needed. Issues with the banks in Afghanistan need to be solved first and the world needs to recognize the current government and be open to have trades with Afghanistan. However, with proper support and highlighting of our success, Aseel can operate in Afghanistan in any regime. We were never supported by any government or international institutions. We kept it that way intentionally given that that is the only way to have a sustainable platform that cannot be taken over by any institution. That is also the best way to do a global startup, self-made, not influenced by any external institution other than a fair partnership.


Tags assigned to this article:
Afghanistan humanitarian crisis

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