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An Emergency Winter Aid Distribution

February 13, 2012

USAID Mission Director Ken Yamashita addresses Afghan and International Journalists February 12 to discuss ongoing USAID-funded emergency humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.

International Organizations and aid groups funded by USAID have begun distributing emergency winter aid to vulnerable migrant populations in camps in areas surrounding Kabul.

The aid, distributed by a task force led by the U.N. Office for the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), includes blankets, tarpaulins, clothing, stoves, and fuel. USAID, working through implementing partners Save The Children and the International Organization for Migration, distributed additional supplies to fill any gaps left by OCHA’s distribution. The distribution of supplies has concentrated on the most vulnerable populations housed in 40 informal settlements in 10 of Kabul’s districts.

The populations are primarily displaced persons from Helmand and Kunduz provinces, as well as returned refugee populations from Iran and Pakistan.

Partners in the distribution efforts include the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (State/PRM), the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the International Organization for Migration, and the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

The distribution of emergency winter aid covers 100 percent of the informal settlements in Kabul. The distribution of emergency winter aid is part of a larger U.S. Government assistance package of some $44 million in humanitarian assistance for FY2012 for Afghans affected by conflict and natural disasters.

This aid includes nearly $10 million in relief commodities and economic recovery through USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, over $27 million in emergency food assistance through USAID’s Office of Food for Peace, including $20 million through the World Food Program to purchase over 15,000 metric tons of food commodities.

In addition, State/PRM has provided over $7 million in humanitarian assistance, livelihood support, and protection interventions for Afghans, including Afghan refugees who have returned to Afghanistan from Iran and Pakistan. Emergency winter aid distribution and ongoing support for returned refugees and other vulnerable populations remains a key component of USG assistance to Afghanistan.

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