Afghanistan: Relief from the Cold
NEW YORK, March 22, 2007—UMCOR helped 300 families to have a warmer winter in Wardak and Paktya Provinces of Afghanistan. Paktya Province, in Eastern Afghanistan, is one of the country's more troubled areas, and is considered too dangerous for many aid organizations to operate. Yet, UMCOR is there assisting some of the region's most vulnerable people through the cold winter.
The 2006-2007 winter was notably longer and colder than previous years. UMCOR's winterization program targets communities of refugees who have recently returned to Afghanistan from abroad-none of whom have electricity or running water in their shelters. The winterization packages that consisted of a metal stove for heat, warm blankets, and vouchers for firewood are a major addition to returnees' households, allowing them to survive the winter without vacating their new homes for warmer climes. All of UMCOR's beneficiaries are carefully selected as the most vulnerable, which means they are receiving little or no other assistance, and include widows, the elderly and people with disabilities.
One group that benefited from the winterization package was the Kuchi people. This small ethnic minority is traditionally nomadic and was especially vulnerable upon returning to Afghanistan after years of living as refugees in Pakistan because they lack the support structures that exist for many other returning refugees. With UMCOR's assistance, they spent their first winter in their own homes, on their own land.
UMCOR began working in Afghanistan in 2002 and is actively engaged in helping the people of Afghanistan recover from decades of conflict and four years of drought.
How You Can Help
To support UMCOR's work in Afghanistan, please give to Afghanistan Emergency, UMCOR Advance #602225. Checks can be mailed to UMCOR PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Write the advance number and name on the memo line of your check. One hundred percent of every donation to any appeal, including appeals for Afghanistan, goes to support the designated program.