16 thoughts on “US Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans homeless

  1. Afghan refugees shiver at another deadly winter

    January 02, 2013 01:30 PM

    Agence France Presse

    “Last year was the worst, and the weather is again turning bad,” Sayed Ullah, 40, said as he lined up for a large package containing tarpaulins, cooking oil fortified with vitamins and warm clothing for adults and children.

    “I live in some ruins with my wife and four children, and we don’t have any heat or enough food,” said Ullah, who was maimed in a mine explosion several years ago that left him missing several fingers.

    “We fled to Kabul from Logar province due to the violence and I have no income except for just a bit of labouring work. We need help to get through the winter.”

    UNHCR said it had funded and organised distribution of aid to more than 32,000 “internally displaced” families across the country since November and 240,000 Afghans would receive winter assistance through its scheme.

    At least two deaths from the cold have already been confirmed this year, a three-year-old and a new-born infant in the Charahi Qambar refugee camp in the west of Kabul.

    Last year’s death toll sparked anger over the government’s failure to protect people, even in Kabul. Emergency relief was eventually shipped into the camps by the US military, international groups and charities.

    “Poverty, conflict and lack of development are longstanding problems which leave many people vulnerable,” said Douglas DiSalvo, a UNHCR official at the distribution centre.

    “We can provide assistance but people still live without proper hygiene, sanitation and protection from the weather and that must be tackled.

    “We have been working with the government and others intensively to prepare for the worse winter period, which may still lie ahead.”

    The government wants the 55 camps in Kabul cleared and refugees to return to their home provinces, but many say it is too dangerous due the Taliban insurgency against the US-backed government.

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