At the very least 157 individuals have died in Afghanistan’s harsh winter, a Taliban official mentioned Tuesday, with the dying toll doubling in lower than every week as tens of millions face bitter temperatures with minimal humanitarian support.

The nation is struggling one in every 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 0 and 5 levels Celsius for this time of yr.

The impression has been made worse by the restricted quantity of humanitarian support 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 support akin to blankets, heating and shelter to some 565,700 individuals.

“However rather 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 instructed CNN Tuesday.

Because the 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 coming into its third consecutive yr of drought-like situations.

An estimated 28.3 million individuals – roughly two thirds of Afghanistan’s inhabitants – are in want of pressing humanitarian help to outlive, in response to a current UNOCHA report.

At the very least half a dozen main international support 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 carry the ban and “put the nice of the nation first.”

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

“… Afghanistan is isolating itself, within the midst of a horrible humanitarian disaster and probably the most weak nations on earth to local weather change,” Mohammed mentioned in an announcement. “We should do every part we are able to to bridge this hole.”

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