UMCOR / Our Work / UMCOR Field Offices / NGO News / archives2006 / Afghanistan_2

Warmth, Health, and Life Winterization Program in Afghanistan

This winter UMCOR Afghanistan helped some 2,000 returning refugee families who are in temporary living conditions that make them especially vulnerable to the cold. "These packages provided by UMCOR saved our lives," said Tahsil, a 70 year-old man who is caring for his seven grandchildren after his son was killed by a mine. The distribution, which occurred in Khost Province, an area southeast of Kabul on the Pakistan border, gave priority to the most vulnerable families.

Bibi's family is one of the many who received assistance through UMCOR's winterization program. She is a widow with five young children to care for. Last summer she and her children returned to Afghanistan after seeking refuge in Pakistan during the war. With no house to return to, she and her family set up camp in a refugee settlement. Her only shelter was in an open area under a tarp. "I was very scared that I would lose my children," Bibi recalls. "They were shivering every night from the cold."

Bibi and her family received charcoal, blankets, soap, shoes, and clothes to help her and her family through the winter. "That day was one of the luckiest days of my life!" Bibi said.

UMCOR gave priority to families headed by widows, people with disabilities, and large families. Many recipients acknowledged UMCOR as the first organization to offer them any kind of assistance. UMCOR Sager Brown provided the non-food supplies and the US Department of State provided the funding to carry out this life-saving program.