Surviving winter: displaced Afghan families need your help now more than ever

Afghanistan is descending into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world – and displaced Afghan families are on the frontline battling the freezing cold.

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© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

Since the beginning of 2021, nearly 700,000 people have been forced from their homes in Afghanistan. On 15 August, the world witnessed the Taliban take control of the country. The economy has gone into freefall, leading to a complex humanitarian crisis, with some 22.8 million people in the country facing serious food insecurity.

Winter is bringing yet more hardship and misery to desperate displaced families in Afghanistan. Their situation is worsening daily – with over half the population now facing extreme levels of hunger.

The family of Abdul Sattar* who are now in Kabul are not immune to this crisis. Abdul’s mother Bibi Khatoon* and his wife Safa* and their children are having to face the harshest of winters.

The family were caught up in fighting in the Panjshir Valley and forced to flee when their home was destroyed.

“A rocket hit the house and everything turned to dust,” Abdul told UNHCR.

“There is no one left in the area, everyone fled. My parents are traumatised and still haven’t come out of the shock.”

Afghanistan. Displaced Afghans receive assistance from UNHCR as winter looms

Abdul Sattar*, 30, holds his daughter Munawara, 4, outside their accommodation in Kabul. Photo: © UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

Afghanistan. Displaced Afghans receive assistance from UNHCR as winter looms

Abdul Sattar*, 30, with some of the non-food items he received from UNHCR. Photo: © UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

The family received cash assistance for rent as well as food and other items.

Abdul said, “When we came here, we had nothing so the assistance from UNHCR was a big help.”

UNHCR has been working hard in Afghanistan to provide families with thermal blankets and solar lamps, as well as plastic sheeting and insulation materials to help weather-proof makeshift shelters.

Vulnerable families are also being given cash assistance to buy fuel and other winter essentials – and this emergency relief is set to continue through the coldest months and well into 2022.

You can help us go one step further by donating today. 

*Name changed for protection reasons

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