USAID/OFDA South Asia Newsletter March-April 2012
Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)
South Asia Region, Regional Office for Asia-Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand
Disaster Response in Focus: Winter Emergency in Afghanistan
The 2011/2012 winter was the most severe Afghanistan has seen in 15 years, with subfreezing temperatures increasing needs and causing the deaths of children in Kabul’s informal settlements—a situation that sparked an immediate and thor-ough distribution of winter supplies from international hu-manitarian organizations, including USAID/OFDA partners. As temperatures warm, the above-average snowfall that ac-cumulated in Afghanistan’s mountainous northern and east-ern regions poses new challenges, as melting snow renders communities vulnerable to avalanches and floods. A key component of USAID/OFDA’s preparedness and response strategy in Afghanistan is pre-positioning emergency relief supplies in numerous locations—an arrangement that has readied USAID/OFDA partners to respond rapidly and effec-tively to the winter emergency and subsequent flooding.