UNHCR helps 200,000 vulnerable Afghans
KABUL (PAN): Around 34,500 vulnerable Afghan families, more than 200,000 individuals, will be provided with winter assistance, including blankets, plastic sheets, fuel, sweaters, shawls, gloves, socks and waterproof shoes, the UN refugee agency announced on Tuesday.
UNHCR said it had already purchased and pre-positioned winter supplies, including over 207,000 blankets and 69,000 plastic sheets, together with 34,500 packages of warm clothing and fuel (gas, charcoal, coal and firewood), for countrywide distribution.
These packs will be distributed to 9,000 newly returned refugee families in eastern and southeastern regions; 6,000 families in the north and northeastern regions; 7,000 families in the western region; 6,500 families in the south; and more than 6,000 families in the central and central highlands.
Minister of Refugees and Repatriation Jamaher Anwary said: "This joint winter assistance programme is vital for returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are at particular risk during the cold winter months in Afghanistan.
Relief distribution to over 300 families got under way on Tuesday in Deh Sabz district of Kabul. The distribution of winter relief supplies, with the coordination and support of the Departments of Refugees, Provincial Disaster Management Committee and the provincial officials in Nimroz and Paktia provinces, has already been completed.
A statement from UNHCR said 1,800 vulnerable families in Paktia and 350 in Zaranj received winter assistance last week, whilst families living in Balkh, Faryab, Samangan, Jawzjan, Sar-i-Pul and Baghlan provinces have already received their packages.
Peter Nicolaus, UNHCR Representative in Afghanistan, said: “The purpose of distributing this assistance is to help needy returnee and IDP people cope better during the bitter winter months. By this I mean households that are run by women with no adult male support, families with elderly or disabled members; families with many children … in other words, really poor or desperately disadvantaged families who are in dire need of our support."
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