According to the Afghan authorities, 78 people have died in the last one week due to severe cold in the country. This has been announced by Shafiullah Rahimi, spokesperson of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Natural Disaster Prevention.
According to Rahimi, more than 75 thousand cattle have also died as a result of severe cold in the country. According to his estimates, the Taliban government has tried to reach and help more than 1 million people across the country. “Doing our best to help more families in this bitterly cold weather,” Rahimi said.
Since the Taliban seized power in August 2021, the country’s economy has been in decline and millions of Afghan families have been facing poverty and bankruptcy since then.
Foreign aid to the country was immediately suspended by the international community as soon as the Taliban came to power. Sanctions on Taliban officials, restrictions on bank transfers and a freeze on Afghanistan’s billions in foreign exchange have limited access to international organizations and foreign aid funds. These aid funds supported the country’s ‘aid-dependent’ economy before the withdrawal of US and NATO forces.
The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement today that thousands of cattle have died in most parts of the country due to severe cold weather in Afghanistan. According to OCHA, “Limited economic resources and assets are putting the Afghan people at greater risk at a time when 21.2 million people are in urgent need of food and agricultural assistance.”
According to meteorological forecasts, the temperature will drop to minus 35 degrees Celsius in some parts of Afghanistan this weekend. According to OCHA, humanitarian groups are providing assistance to families during the winter. This assistance includes cash for fuel and warm clothes. However, since the ban on women workers working in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Afghanistan, the distribution of relief goods is also severely affected.
During an emergency meeting, Mullah Mohammad Abbas Akhund, the Taliban’s minister for natural disaster prevention, called for more aid from the international community. He said that the recently released figures are not completely accurate as the government does not have access to remote areas. In a separate statement on Thursday, the Taliban ordered relevant authorities and government officials to help the affected families.
A statement also said, “We deeply regret that our compatriots have lost their lives in some provinces due to extreme cold weather.” Last year, Martin Schoep, a senior official at the Red Cross, said that in the coming year, more Afghan civilians will struggle to survive due to worsening conditions. According to this organization, half of the population of Afghanistan is currently in need of aid.