A family in Afghanistan warms their hands. Freezing cold temperatures and heavy snows have trapped many families in their homes without access to resources to keep them warm.
Harsh weather conditions including frigid temperatures and heavy snows over the past two months have lead to hundreds of deaths-- mostly children and the elderly— in Afghanistan. Many families do not have the resources to stay warm or are trapped by the snow. Many are experiencing respiratory problems and other cold-related illnesses.
According to ChildFund Afghanistan’s Country Director, George Nzomo, “This year’s snowfall has added untold miseries to the lives of people, especially children.”
Afghanistan often experiences extreme temperatures— both in the winter and summer. This winter, however, has been one of the harshest seasons in decades, affecting more than two-thirds of provinces.
ChildFund Afghanistan works in rural communities such as the isolated, Takhar province, found high in the mountains, which was hit especially hard by the weather. “ChildFund Afghanistan is extending support to 500 families— including more than 1,500 children— with food and other items that will see them through the winter. Schools are closed for the winter and children in these communities are stuck at home with no recreational facilities,” Nzomo added.
Nzomo also pointed out that income generation activities are at a standstill, making it difficult for parents to provide for their families. Reports indicate that tens of thousands of cattle have been lost as a result of the harsh weather.
With support from CCF’s partner organization in Germany, CCF Kinderhilfswerk, ChildFund Afghanistan will distribute the following supplies for 500 affected families later this month:
1,000 blankets for children and families
1,500 pairs of shoes and 3,000 pairs of children’s socks
250 kilos of wood for each family, plus kerosene and a bhukari (traditional Afghan stove)
Basic food supplies for 500 families, including flour, sugar, cooking oil and biscuits
CCF has worked in Afghanistan for seven years, establishing and strengthening Child Well-Being Committees and community groups of parents. These groups will play a leading role in making sure emergency supplies are distributed to the most vulnerable and severely affected families in their communities.