Battleland

Winter in Afghanistan

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John Wendle / Polaris

A poorly dressed boy warms his hands on Feb. 11, 2012, as people living at the Nasaji Bagrami internally displaced persons camp near Kabul, Afghanistan, divide among themselves newly delivered blankets and clothes donated by aid groups and concerned citizens

Those of us enjoying a rather balmy winter in the U.S. should know that Afghanistan – a wretchedly poor country to begin with – is suffering through a brutal winter:

The mud-walled hut in which four-month-old Khair Mohammad froze to death was covered by an emergency-aid tarp sagging under the weight of the snow. Throughout the camp in Kabul, similar dwellings were blanketed in white. The snow fell in heavy, wet flakes and stuck to the bare heads and thin shoulders of the camp’s children — many wearing only shirts and rubber flip-flops. The kids were running to collect blankets and clothes that had been haphazardly dropped off by a disorganized jumble of foreign aid agencies, Afghan NGOs and businessmen and sympathetic foreigners reacting to the news that about two dozen children had frozen to death in the past month in the makeshift camps housing the thousands of people displaced by Afghanistan’s war.

Read John Wendle’s full dispatch for Time here.

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