The Deadliest winter – Forgotten Women

Women in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Yemen will be forced to face a bleak and harsh winter in the coming weeks. Each of these countries have been ravaged by floods and famine, leaving thousands of women and children suffering. The common factor across these 4 countries is poverty which leaves the poorest, mainly women and children suffering the most.

Pakistan: A very difficult winter ahead

“The floods are the worst in Pakistan’s history, many of the people (largely women and children) are making makeshift shelters with sticks and branches as no aid has reached them with Pakistan admitting it is stretched in capacity and resources. We must act now and help these people before it is too late.” S.Ali, Director, Forgotten Women

Entire villages and crops have been washed away, many families had no choice but to vacate their homes within minutes. Sodhar, from one of the most affected areas said her entire family, with pregnant women and infants, have no shelter and are living in the open in scorching weather in the nearby town of Mehar. “We barely get one meal a day. Our children are crying all day. What can you tell them to stop crying when there is no home for them,”

Women and children have lost their relatives, loved ones, family members, the roof over their heads. Their entire lives have been wiped away which has left them desperate.The government of Pakistan has now appealed for help to the international community with an area roughly the size of Britain underwater. According to UN agencies, the situation will only continue to deteriorate as winter is just eight weeks away in some parts of the country. The death toll is looking to rise due to the harsh weather and lack of basic food.

Bangladesh: Poverty and winter mixed is deadly in the winter  

“The cold wave drifting down from Himalayas has adversely affected lives, businesses, including farming, restaurants, and retail shops,” said Aisha Nuri, a leading government official.

With temperatures falling in a tropical country like Bangladesh it very hard for the people cope with, death tolls every year in Bangladesh rise as the harsh winter not only claims lives but also the crops leaving thousands without sufficient food. 315,000 people have been suffering from various cold-related illnesses, mostly respiratory infection and diarrhoea. Those living on low incomes, particularly labourers, are the worst affected by the cold weather because of lack of clothes while many others, especially children and the elderly people, are prone to diseases.


Afghanistan: Many will be forced to choose between food and warmth

Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries, after 2 long occupations lasting decades and continuous struggle for freedom the country has been stripped of all its stability which means extreme poverty has set into the people of Afghanistan. Women and children are the ones to suffer the most in affected areas of war, famine and poverty. Nearly 23 million Afghans, out of a total population of 39 million, already do not have enough to eat. Many also lack solid shelter and money to heat their homes at night, forcing them to choose between food and fuel, and creating additional potential for a full-fledged humanitarian disaster, aid officials said.

 “We do not earn enough money to buy food, most nights we go to sleep hungry. When I wake up in the morning, my child will ask for food, the other child will say, “Mum, my hands and feet are freezing,” I try to go out and find some discarded shoes and clothes from the streets to heat our home.” Hanfia, Afghanistan

Snowfalls are quite frequent and sometimes heavy, as the situation has not improved in Afghanistan, the desperation of people still remain and hundreds of women will still take to the streets begging for what they can in the cold harsh winter.

Yemen: Another year of war and a bitter winter

The Yemen civil war started in 2015, leaving aside the politics and the blame it is the women and children who always suffer in conflict making up 80% of those affected. Yemen is now the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Yemen as a nation wasn’t very rich and prosperous to start with and the war has only plunged it into an even darker place of ruthlessness. Millions of women and children are living in makeshift tents, constructed of whatever is available

The worst place in the world right now is Yemen. The UN has declared Yemen to be the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. With the country suffering from mass starvation, more than 80 percent of the population lacks food, drinking water and access to health care services. As the temperatures drop during the winter months many will not survive the cold temperatures and the lack of food will only aid this.

The need is great, this winter let us come together to provide protect against the bitter cold winter. What these women need desperately this winter:

Food Packs £50  |  Winter Blankets £10  |  Winter Warmers (clothes/heaters) £100


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Forgotten Women