Snow-stricken Afghan refugees receive aid

Baptist Press
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Posted: Feb 27, 2012 5:52 PM
Snow-stricken Afghan refugees receive aid
KABUL, Afghanistan (BP) -- Refugees in more than 40 camps at Kabul, Afghanistan, are suffering from the heaviest snowfall in many years and bitter cold temperatures. Humanitarian partners in Kabul are moving to bring relief to more than 500 of the hardest-hit families.

"The tent, mud or cardboard housing in which the refugees live offers little protection against the cold," said the project director in Kabul whose name is withheld for security reasons. "Many people in these camps do not have money to buy expensive firewood or coal to keep their families warm or to cook food that would provide them with necessary nutrition."

In January and February, Kabul has been hit with more than four feet of snow, and temperatures have sunk as low as 5 degrees, said Francis Horton, who with his wife Angie directs work in Central and South Asia for Baptist Global Response. As of Feb. 27, news services were reporting that nearly 30 children had died because of the weather since mid-January.

Southern Baptist relief funds are being tapped to provide emergency assistance "Winter Relief Family Packs" that consist of firewood and food, at a cost of $98 per family, Horton said. The food packs will include rice, oil, beans and tea. The partners will follow up with selected families, providing courses in practical job skills like carpentry and welding.

"When God gives us an opportunity to help people in desperate need, we are so grateful to have relief and hunger funds we can use to respond immediately to the need," Horton said. "These families will experience the love of God firsthand because Southern Baptists are a people who care about people in need."

Mark Kelly writes for Baptist Global Response, on the Web at www.gobgr.org.

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