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Editorial: Nothing burns like cold

Vulnerable Afghans are struggling to cope with harsh winter. Heavy snowfall and freezing temperature in northern Afghanistan claimed more than 40 lives so far. Winter is proved deadly for poor people, and especially for the Internal Displace Persons (IDPs) who were living under mud houses and tents. Nothing burns them like the cold and freezing temperature during winter.

Heavy snowfalls have taken the lives of 47 people in Darzab district of northern Jawzjan province. More than 70 centimeters snow has fallen in the district, cutting off access for villagers in the area to medical care.

Moreover, the State Ministry for Disaster Management Affairs (SMDMA) has recently informed that at least 21 people have been died in the last few weeks due to a severe blow of snowfall and cold weather across the country. Heavy snowfall and avalanches kill scores of people in Afghanistan in every winter season.

Harsh winter will not show mercy, but it is the duty of related officials to aware people of winter consequences. In Jawzjan, peopled died of cold because they don’t had access to health services. Provincial officials should have provided health care to the people in the areas. It is a fact that despite youngsters, hundreds of children will become sick during winter, and medical facilities is a must. In Darzab people and children died because the dizzy eyes of the provincial officials were not turned to these innocent souls.

SMDMA is also responsible for the human losses. The ministry should have provided healthcare facilities in the areas under threat of snow block.

But, still there is time for the relevant officials to take a significant steps to prevent more human losses as winter is yet to over. Emergency winter aid must be provided to the all needy people, especially to IDPs and refugees returned from Pakistan and Iran.

The government must provide food, shelter and healthcare facility to all citizens across the country. If more children, women, elder and youngsters died of cold, the blood will be on the government’s hands, because it had received millions of US dollars in foreign aid in their name.

Despite, snow makes the whole Afghanistan beautiful as the streets are wet and muddy and the snow covers the rose garden and the barbed wire, but it also kills people. At real scene, snow doesn’t kill, it is the negligence of the related officials that result into killing of people due to heavy snowfalls. With flowed of foreign aids, the government failed to delivery humanitarian assistance to the needy people during harsh winter.

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