Severe cold in Afghanistan results in 70 dead

Islamabad, Jan 18, (dpa/GNA) – Seventy people have died in Afghanistan in the last week, due to severe cold, a Taliban official said on Wednesday.

Abdullah Mohammadi, an official with the country’s National Disaster Management Authority, told dpa that more than 70,000 animals have also perished.

Afghan media also reported a high toll, adding that children and addicts consisted of the majority of victims in some provinces.

A resident from western Badghis province told dpa the temperature was as cold as minus 28 degrees Celsius.

Heavy snows in the mountainous country closed main routes to at least five districts, the official added.

The country’s meteorological department anticipated the possibility of colder weather in the coming days.

Emergency aid has been provided to thousands of needy families, Mohammadi said.

Local media have been increasingly reporting about families dying from inhaling gas fumes since there is no electricity or proper heating for families to warm their homes in the harsh winter.

Decades of war have left a devastating impact on Afghanistan. As a result, the country is suffering from one of the world’s most extensive and severe humanitarian crises. More than half the population will require humanitarian assistance this year, according to the United Nations.

The economy was sustained by the international community, but collapsed after the Taliban returned to power in August 2021. Their oppressive policies mean Afghan women are particularly disadvantaged.

Despite these problems, many international organizations have suspended their humanitarian projects in the war-torn country to protest the Taliban’s draconic policies towards women.