Read caption Nazia, 11, is taking care of her little sister Palwasha who is wrapped in a thick blanket in one of the informal settlements in Kabul. The siblings are experiencing their third winter in this settlement. Photo: Enayatullah Azad/NRC.

Snow fall brings severe risk to displaced Afghans

Published 16. Jan 2019
This year’s first snow has fallen in the centre and northeastern parts of Afghanistan. More snow and temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees Celsius are expected this weekend posing severe risk to displaced Afghans in makeshift shelters.

“The first snowfall of the winter is very happy news for the million Afghan farmers who have been badly affected by the worst drought to hit Afghanistan in a decade. However, the thousands of Afghans living without adequate shelter, including many in Kabul’s informal settlements, will struggle through the winter months without fuel for heating and necessary shelter,” said Christopher Nyamandi, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Afghanistan.

Temperatures are expected to drop to minus 15 degrees Celsius starting Friday with even more snow fall.

“I’m wondering what to do and how to spend the winter months here. We have no proper shelter over our heads, no food to eat, no firewood and my children don’t have warm clothes,” said displaced mother of two Aqila.

For many families, this is the third winter they are trying to survive in makeshift shelters displaced from their homes.

“Thousands of displaced women, men and children do not have proper clothing or shelter to protect them. Our staff see children walking around with plastic shoes without socks in the snow. We need to provide these families with adequate shelters, heaters and blankets and enough food stocks to keep them alive throughout this brutal winter,” said Nyamandi.

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