Federal Foreign Office prepares to provide winter emergency aid for Afghanistan

The Federal Foreign Office is donating a total of 1 million euro to German aid agencies for projects to deal with a possible winter emergency in Afghanistan. In another winter emergency measure, the Federal Foreign Office will provide the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with 2 million euro towards its appeal for emergency aid in four provinces in northern Afghanistan. In addition to these projects the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will be donated 2.36 million euro in Federal Foreign Office funds to enable it to support internally displaced persons and Afghan returnees.

Last winter was the harshest in Afghanistan for more than a decade. Winter conditions are expected to return to the country within the next few days. This winter is also likely to be a very cold and long one. People living in remote villages as well as returnees and internally displaced persons are particularly at risk. Heavy snowfalls and extreme cold regularly leave Afghanistan's western and northern provinces, as well as the central highlands, short of supplies.

In winter many valleys in the central highlands are completely cut off, also from medical services. The Federal Foreign Office is funding seven health stations there to provide basic medical services for over 110,000 people. Doctors and medical aid workers are already setting up these stations in strategic locations, with the necessary equipment, before the onset of winter.

In cooperation with various aid agencies the Federal Foreign Office is supplying blankets, warm clothing, heating material and basic foodstuffs for those in need.

This latest contribution brings the total amount made available by the Federal Foreign Office for humanitarian aid and humanitarian demining in Afghanistan since 2001 to around 81 million euro.