Kabul, Jan 16 – At least 16 people have died in Afghanistan due to a cold wave with minimum temperatures close to -20 degrees, an official source said on Monday, while hundreds of NGOs have suspended or reduced their activities after that the Taliban prohibited women from working in them.
“Unfortunately, due to the cold wave, the recent snow and the rains, 16 people have died and more than 2,000 head of cattle have lost their lives,” the risk reduction director of the Ministry of Risk Management told GLM. Afghan disasters, Mula Janan Sayeq.
The most affected provinces are the northeast Badghis and Faryab, Nimroz (southwest) and Ghazni (southeast), according to the source, who stated that the ministry has begun distributing aid to the relatives of the identified victims and to the most vulnerable population.
However, the Taliban’s recent decision to ban Afghans from working for national and international NGOs has caused hundreds of these organizations to have “completely suspended or reduced” their activities in the country, according to a recent statement by the Coordinating Body of Agencies for the Afghan Aid (ACBAR).
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) paralyzed its aid programs in Afghanistan last December, after the Taliban veto, and its secretary general, Jan Egeland, highlighted the lack of protection that the veto has unleashed among Afghans.
“I am leaving Afghanistan with a heavy heart. It was -20 degrees when we left Kabul, millions (of people) will find themselves without support until we are allowed to work with women,” Egeland said on Twitter on Saturday.
Deaths from the cold are common in the troubled Asian country, due to the scarcity of infrastructure and basic services, as well as the low quality of housing, often simple tents in the case of the most disadvantaged.
Much of Afghan territory is crisscrossed by the massive Hindu Kush mountain range and experiences extreme temperatures during winter.
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