For disaster-hit Afghans, a brutally cold winter and shrinking aid
On a remote hillside in Afghanistan’s Logar province, the tents of some 300 families stretch across the snow-covered ground. This makeshift village has stood here since last July, when unusually strong floodwaters destroyed hundreds of nearby homes.
Despite the icy weather, the snow that blanketed the camp in Khoshi district in early February actually came as some rare relief, driving temperatures up to 2 degrees Celsius and providing a buffer against the frigid winds that usually surround the hilltop.
Across Afghanistan, a bitter cold snap led to the deaths of at least 166 people and more than 77,000 livestock in the second half of January. Last week, local authorities in the central province of Daikondi said a 50-year-old woman died when her body was buried under a snowstorm.
Last June, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit the southeastern provinces of Paktika and Khost, destroying thousands of homes. Many of those families are also still living in tents. The summer also saw wildfires in the east of the country as a result of a years-long drought.
The longer-term impact of last year’s disasters – flooding in the east and north, earthquakes in the southeast, as well as drought in parts of the west, south, and in the capital, Kabul – has forced families across the country to make impossible decisions.