KABUL, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency said Monday that it has provided "life-saving assistance" to nearly 150,000 Afghans, as harsh winter arrived in the war-torn country.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) together with Afghanistan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) and other partners are distributing cash assistance to families in all 34 provinces of the country, UNHCR statement said in a statement.
"During the 2017-2018 winter season, 33 out of 34 provinces were affected by extreme weather conditions including heavy snowfall, avalanches and other natural disasters," said the statement.
According to the statement, as of Dec. 24, over 58,000 of the most vulnerable have been reached as part of the annual winterization program.
"A total of 620,000 people are estimated countrywide to be in need of assistance this winter. While humanitarian agencies and the Afghan Government will be able to provide over 420,000 individuals (60,000 families) with winterization assistance, there remains a gap of at least 28,000 families still in need," the statement noted.
The UNHCR has already provided winter assistance to more than 17,000 individuals in the north and northeastern provinces, over 33,000 in the western region, and nearly 6,500 in the eastern region, according to the statement.