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Excessive chilly kills greater than 150 individuals in Afghanistan, Taliban says

CNN  — 

At the least 157 individuals have died in Afghanistan’s harsh winter, a Taliban official mentioned Tuesday, with the dying toll doubling in lower than per week as thousands and thousands face bitter temperatures with minimal humanitarian help.

The nation is struggling considered one of its coldest winters, with temperatures plummeting to as little as minus 28 levels Celsius (minus 18 Fahrenheit) in early January – far beneath the nationwide common of between zero and 5 levels Celsius for this time of 12 months.

The affect has been made worse by the restricted quantity of humanitarian help being distributed within the nation, following the Taliban’s ban on feminine NGO employees.

The United Nations Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) mentioned on Twitter Sunday it was delivering help reminiscent of blankets, heating and shelter to some 565,700 individuals.

“However way more is required amid one of many coldest spells in years,” it added.

Round 70,000 livestock have additionally frozen to dying throughout the nation, Shafiullah Rahimi, a spokesman for the Taliban’s Ministry of Catastrophe Administration advised CNN Tuesday.

For the reason that hardline Islamist group took over in August 2021, Afghanistan has plunged into an financial and humanitarian disaster.

It has been battered by pure disasters and is getting into its third consecutive 12 months of drought-like situations.

An estimated 28.three million individuals – roughly two thirds of Afghanistan’s inhabitants – are in want of pressing humanitarian help to outlive, in keeping with a current UNOCHA report.

At the least half a dozen main overseas help teams have suspended their operations in Afghanistan since December, when the Taliban ordered all native and worldwide non-governmental organizations to cease their feminine staff from coming to work, or danger having their licenses revoked.

Final week, a few of the UN’s most senior feminine officers took a four-day journey to Afghanistan and met with Taliban leaders in Kabul, asking them to raise the ban and “put the great of the nation first.”

Amina Mohammed, the UN’s Deputy Secretary-Normal, described the current insurance policies as a violation of ladies’s fundamental human rights.

“… Afghanistan is isolating itself, within the midst of a horrible humanitarian disaster and one of the vital susceptible nations on earth to local weather change,” Mohammed mentioned in a press release. “We should do every part we are able to to bridge this hole.”

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