At least 124 people killed in Afghanistan by the Freezing weather

By Rek Hanibal Published on January 24, 2023
At least 124 people killed in Afghanistan by the Freezing weather

About 70,000 livestock had also perished in what is the coldest winter in a decade, a State Ministry for Disaster Management spokesman said. 

Many aid agencies suspended operations recently after the Taliban banned Afghan women from working for non-governmental organisations. 

A Taliban minister said despite the deaths; the mandate would not be changed.

Acting Minister of Disaster Management Mullah Mohammad Abbas Akhund said that many areas of Afghanistan were now completely cut off by snow; military helicopters had been sent to the rescue, but they couldn't land in the most mountainous regions.

The acting minister said the forecast for the next ten days indicated temperatures would warm. But he was still worried about a rising death toll - of Afghans and their livestock. 

"Most people who lost their lives to the cold were shepherds or people living in rural areas. They didn't have access to healthcare," Mullah Akhund said. 

"We're concerned about those still living in the mountain regions. Most roads that pass through the mountains have been closed due to snow. Cars have got stuck there, and passengers have died in the freezing temperatures."

Winters are always harsh here in Afghanistan, but this is the worst weather in a decade. 

And this year's relief operations are hampered by last month's Taliban government edict barring Afghan women from working in aid agencies. 

But Mullah Akhund was categorical. This mandate could not be lifted - the international community, he insisted, had to accept Afghanistan's Islamic culture. 

"Men are already working with us in the rescue effort, and there is no need for women to work with us. The men from every family are already participating in relief efforts, so there's no need for women,

Aid officials, including the United Nations, are urgently trying to find ways to work around this ban.

Rek Hanibal

Rek Hanibal

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