Cold weather kills 17 in Afghan refugee camps
Date : Tuesday 22 January 2013 14:04
Severe cold weather sweeping through camps for people displaced by the Afghan war has killed 17 people, mostly children, Amnesty International said Tuesday.
The deaths occurred in the first two weeks of January in Kabul and Herat provinces, which host most of the country’s half a million internally displaced people.
“These deaths were a preventable tragedy,” Amnesty’s deputy Asia Pacific director Polly Truscott said in a statement.
Last winter about 100 people, mostly children and the elderly, lost their lives in the camps and the Afghan government and international donors had been urged to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.
In the western province of Herat, assistance reached refugees returning to Afghanistan from abroad, but aid to those internally displaced was apparently blocked after pressure from the provincial .governor’s office, Amnesty said.
Decades of conflict have left Afghanistan with one of the highest internally displaced populations in the world. The UN refugee agency estimates it at ۴۵۰,۰۰۰ but Amnesty said the actual number is likely to be much higher.
“There is a desperate need to act now to prevent further deaths this winter. Afghanistan and its donor partners should remember that safeguarding lives in these settlements is an obligation under international law,” Truscott said
The Frontier Post
Story Code: 56980
Source : Afghan Voice Agency (AVA),Kabul