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The Sharjah-based global humanitarian organization, The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), has made a call to corporate entities as well as individuals to donate to its ‘A Warm Winter’ drive, which runs until February 19, 2022, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and has been designed to ensure that displaced families in Afghanistan survive the harsh winter conditions as temperatures plunge below freezing.

TBHF chose Afghanistan in response to the critical challenges impacting refugees and displaced families. As temperatures drop to as low as -12⁰C to -25⁰C in winter and with 3.5 million people displaced by conflict inside Afghanistan – including 700,000 who were displaced in 2021, the vulnerability of the people is further exacerbated by the harsh winter. Millions of displaced families and children lack proper shelter or warm clothes to survive the bitter cold. Insufficient fuel for heating, lack of insulated shelters, protective clothing and a short supply of food and medical supplies, further compound the catastrophic conditions.

A combination of years of drought, decades of conflict, and the ongoing economic, financial and health crisis has seen both food and fuel prices skyrocket, threatening the survival of the vast majority of population in Afghanistan. It is estimated that at least two million children are at risk of severe malnourishment.

The TBHF’s initiative is providing displaced Afghani families and individuals with fuel, warm clothes, sleeping mats, warm blankets, heaters, solar-powered lamps and financial grants to help fulfil their basic needs.

How to donate

Corporate, institutional, and individual donors can contribute via bank transfer, cheque, cash payment, SMS channels, or online via the following link: tbhf.ae/warmwinter.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, said: "The importance of prompt humanitarian action as a crisis unfolds cannot be emphasized enough. The extreme winter conditions and food shortages have disrupted lives in Afghanistan, and there is an urgent need to offer lifesaving help to those who need it the most. An estimated 3.5 million people have been displaced by conflict till date inside Afghanistan, and emergency response efforts must be mobilized to fulfil the immediate needs of insulated shelters, thermal blankets and warm winter clothes, fuel, and food and medicine supplies. In keeping with TBHF’s mandate to alleviate human suffering, we aim to deploy impactful assistance with our humanitarian partners to deliver rapid and effective emergency relief.”

She added: “We call on compassionate individuals and organizations to help make a meaningful impact in the lives of Afghan families amid acute and rising humanitarian needs. This initiative aligns with the deep-rooted values of giving embedded in Emirati culture, which has seen the nation spearhead a range of humanitarian projects that are building a better and more secure and stable future for people around the world. We thank in advance all the generous souls whose timely action and big hearts will ensure a tolerable winter for Afghanistan’s displaced men, women and children.”

           
‘A Warm Winter’ drive falls under the refugee response initiatives mandated under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, for concerted action to intensify efforts to protect vulnerable groups around the world from the devastating impacts of winter.

Source: National Network Communications (NNC)