From food to fuel and blankets to warm clothes, thousands of families who would otherwise be struggling for survival are able to meet the harshest of seasons with hope and optimism.
The winter of 2020, however, presents unprecedented challenges for everyone. For the most vulnerable, the poorest and the disadvantaged around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the risks they already face to their health and well-being from the winter elements.
Already struggling to meet their daily needs – whether due to poverty, displacement or natural and man-made disasters – winter traditionally means further hardships as they battle to cope with heavy snow, freezing temperatures and biting winds.
The grim situation has been compounded by the global pandemic that has meant lockdowns, fatalities and the unbearable anticipation of the protective comfort of a vaccine. For many in poorer countries, that wait for the rollout of a vaccine could last for up to two years or even longer.
Every winter, Islamic Help’s donors have provided emergency aid and relief to support thousands of vulnerable families. That aid has extended to poverty-stricken communities in Asia and Africa; orphans, widows, the elderly and infirm, and the disabled; refugees forced to flee conflict in their homelands.
During the year, our teams across the world have been providing support to help these communities during the coronavirus pandemic through the provision of food supplies, medical aid and hygiene kits.
This winter, that support will concentrate on the provision of family food packs, fuel, blankets and winter clothing, all aimed at reducing some of the burdens and hardships that winter brings, and ensuring that the most vulnerable do not have to endure a #WinterWithout the essentials for survival.
With your support and donations, our teams across the world will be providing emergency winter aid in the following countries and communities:
Bangladesh: While average temperatures for most of the country in December/January can be about 10°C, warmer clothing is advised in the northern mountainous areas where it can get colder.
For rural and poorer communities and Rohingya refugees in camps like Cox’s Bazar, while temperatures may be relatively warm compared with colder climes, winter brings increased food insecurity and a need for fuel for cooking and boiling water.
Cameroon: As with many other countries in Asia and Africa, winter temperatures are comparable to spring or summer in European countries. However, in the far north they can drop to around freezing – 0°C (32°F), and poorer and refugee communities can find it harder to access food and medical support at this time of year.
Pakistan: Temperatures in December and January can dip to an average of approx. 2.6°C (36.7°F) while in the north and Balochistan in the south they are regularly below freezing. In the city of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan – one of the provinces for our distributions – it is not uncommon for temperatures of -10°C (14°F) or lower. Various parts of the country also experience heavy snowfall during the winter months.
Middle East (Gaza, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon): In Gaza, the nights can be bitterly cold leading to freezing water and a lack of fuel for cooking and heating. In other parts of the region, temperatures can fall to below freezing with heavy snowfalls not uncommon. Refugees in parts of Jordan and Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, who are served by Islamic Help’s teams, often endure winters of heavy snow and freezing temperatures in makeshift or flimsy tents with no fuel or warm clothing.
WINTER AID PACKAGES
Our winter emergency aid is designed to ensure that struggling families have enough nutrition, with food packs designed to last a family for 2 to 4 weeks depending on the number of individuals. Fuel is in the form of firewood, kerosene or gas cylinders depending on their circumstances; warm clothing includes hats, gloves, jackets and shoes, and we also provide double-ply blankets.
A family food pack for £30 typically includes: 10kg of sugar; 250 grams of tea; 10kg of rice; 5 litres of oil; 1 kilo each of chick peas, lentils, tomato paste, fava beans and salt.
A fuel pack for £30 will include either 30kg of firewood; 30litres of kerosene oil or one gas cylinder.
A double ply blanket costs £15, while a £30 winter clothing pack includes hats/head coverings; gloves; socks; sweaters; jackets and shoes.
You can make it a #WinterWith hope, warmth and comfort for people in need. Please support our Winter Crisis Appeal here.