Children die in Afghanistan cold spell; Southern Baptists respond

By February 28, 2012

Afghanistan (MNN) — Record snowfall has caused hundreds of deaths across Eastern Europe, but frigid cold has also gripped the Middle East.

Earthquake victims have been suffering in Turkey, while refugees in Afghanistan suffer from an unusually cold winter. According to the most recent reports, at least 40 Afghans have died in the last month. Almost all have been children.

The winter has averaged about 5 or 6 degrees (Celsius) colder than Afghanistan's last winter, reports Al Jazeera. Temperatures have dipped as low as -16C (or 3 degrees Fahrenheit) in Kabul and are expected to worsen.

The need to keep people warm is vast. Many people do not have proper shelter, even in refugee camps. Southern Baptist relief group Baptist Global Response says many are living in tents, mud or cardboard houses, shelters which offer very little protection against the cold.

Afghans are in need of shelter, fuel, food, warm clothes and shoes. Many do not even have the firewood or coal to build fires for their freezing families.

BGR partners in Kabul are responding with relief to more than 500 of the hardest-hit families with "Winter Relief Family Packs." The packs contain firewood and food, including rice, oil, beans and tea. Each pack costs $98.

BGR partners will also follow up with the selected families to provide courses in practical job skills to get them back on their feet.

The ministry partners are looking at this not only as an opportunity to help those desperately in need, but also to show the love of God to hundreds who know nothing of it. Pray that those who receive relief would recognize God's love and would seek out more about the true Creator.

You can help BGR in their relief efforts by donating to BGR's Disaster Response Fund.

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