At least 17 die in northeast Afghanistan amid cold snap

Kabul, Jan 22 (EFE).- At least 17 people died in the last 24 hours due to freezing temperatures and respiratory diseases caused by a cold snap hitting northeastern Afghanistan, the Taliban Public Health Ministry said Sunday.

“Due to cold weather and respiratory diseases, 17 of our compatriots have lost their lives” in the Pamir Kalan area, in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, health ministry spokesman Sharafat Zaman told reporters.

A medical team from neighboring Tajikistan was dispatched to the area with resources to treat people affected by the subzero temperatures in the region, Zaman added.

Located in the Wakhan corridor, Pamir Kalan is one of the most remote and coldest areas of Badakhshan, accessible only via Tajikistan.

Deaths from the cold are common in Afghanistan due to the scarcity of infrastructure and basic services, as well as the low quality of housing, especially for the country’s poorest, many of whom live in tents.

The humanitarian crisis unleashed in the country after the Taliban came to power in August 2021, which resulted in the suspension of aid shipments, financial assistance and access to international reserves, has exacerbated the situation.

This has left the Taliban with limited resources to power the country, provide food and minimal services to an already impoverished population.

Much of Afghanistan’s territory is crisscrossed by the massive Hindu Kush mountain range and sees extremely low temperatures during the winter. EFE


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