UNHCR's winter aid for Afghanistan
Kabul (PAN): In the last week the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has begun distribution of winter assistance to nearly quarter of a million people (40,000 families) in remote and inaccessible areas of Afghanistan, as well as in Kabul.
The recipients are recent returnees from Pakistan and Iran, internally displaced people (IDP) - including people displaced by conflict - and others at risk in the cold weather.
"We are aware that really destitute returnee and IDP groups, families headed by women, or elderly or disabled, and children often face problems coping in the freezing temperatures of an Afghan winter,” said Dr. Peter Nicolaus, UNHCR Representative in Afghanistan in a statement.
“This is why we distribute these items as the cold weather begins,” he added.
Winter temperatures in Afghanistan can fall to around -26 Celsius and for this reason it is important that people are protected from the cold.
The relief items going out around the country include tents, blankets, plastic sheets, fuel, sleeping mats, lanterns, jerry cans, kitchen sets, soap and warm clothes. This year, 30,000 of those who will receive winter assistance will be people living in Kabul's informal settlements.
Nearly 460,000 people have been displaced by conflict in Afghanistan. Most are in the south (137,000 persons), followed by the west (121,527) and east (95,134), said the statement.
Returned refugees and internally displaced people often live in extremely bad conditions in isolated communities - communities rarely seen by the general public and where access is very difficult.
Those receiving our aid include really destitute returnees and IDP groups, families headed by women, or elderly or disabled, and children, added the statement.
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