KABUL: South Korea has donated around $2.2 million to help protect
thousands of displaced families from harsh winter season in Afghanistan.
“Years of conflict, displacement and growing poverty, compounded by the
unprecedented drought this year, have made the situation quite critical,
especially for vulnerable families,” said Adele Khodr, UNICEF Afghanistan
Representative in a statement issued on Sunday.
“Thanks to the generous financial contribution from the People and
Government of Republic of Korea, children and their families can be protected
from the winter cold.” The contribution will protect 21,000 families, more than
half are children. “This contribution could not have been more timely. With the
onset of the winter the situation is quite dire,” Adele Khodr said.
Amidst harshest winter conditions, UNICEF with donors support has delivered
to an estimated 21,000 conflict and natural disaster affected families (58
percent being children) in the worst affected provinces of Herat, Badghis and
Ghor, a package of essential non-food items including blankets, family kits
including kitchen sets, tarpaulins and children winter clothing kits, the
Korean Ambassador Rhee Zha-hyoung said, “I am saddened by the fact that
around 83,000 families across the country are in need of assistance to fight
back cold and hunger during the harsh winter season.”
“Children who are already suffering from malnutrition and weak immune
systems are more vulnerable to cold winter weather, and I thank UNICEF for
taking the lead in helping those children in a prompt and timely manner.”
The internally displaced children are in desperate need of assistance, with
many still living in makeshift structures, tents and inadequate shelters that
will expose them to sub-zero temperatures, heavy snow and strong winds.
Malnutrition rates remain high amongst displaced children. Of the over
19,000 children screened in the provincial Herat and Badghis IDP settlements,
more than 1,300 were found to be severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases and were
referred for treatment at facilities in both provinces.
Over three million people including an estimated 1.6 million children are
affected by the impact of drought across the country. The number of food
insecure population is likely to increase to over 6 million people during the
With the significant drop in temperatures, there are reports of an
increasing number of patients with acute respiratory tract infections, many of
whom are children, and winter related deaths. (Pajhwok)