In Pakistan, many communities have no access to local markets to purchase essential items in the winter months. During this two to three month period, heavy snowfall, which can fall up to 4 feet in height, blocks roads, and cuts entire villages off from the wider region.
With many people having no access to winter clothing, fuel and blankets, the winter months can be a perilous time for those disadvantaged in Pakistan.
As a result of the ongoing Syrian civil war, many thousands of refugees have fled across the border to seek safety in Lebanon. In winter, this situation becomes readily apparent as temperatures plummet below zero, forcing refugees to seek shelter in overcrowded apartments, building sites and garages. In high-altitude areas especially, displaced families are at serious risk of death from exposure.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, “70.5% of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon live below the poverty line, 4.6% of children were underweight, 54% require continuing support for the restoration and rehabilitation of shelters and 41% live in precarious and unsafe housing, including tents improvised camps in slums.”
Due to the ongoing conflict in Palestine, it is estimated that 89,000 people have been internally displaced. These people live in a variety of makeshift dwellings, with around a quarter living in the rubble of their destroyed homes.
These people are in a continual state of vulnerability, as they are always on the brink of being evicted from their current place of residence. Purchasing winter items and storing them for the colder months is a concern, with many surviving solely on aid to make it through the winter.
With no end to the Syrian civil war in sight, this winter, more than 5 million refugees and another 6.5 million internally displaced people will need humanitarian aid. As temperatures begin to fall and the daylight hours shorten, these people are worried about how they will survive the winter.
Money raised through Penny Appeal’s Winter Emergency appeal helps pay for gas heaters, food and shelter that can bring comfort during the harshest days and nights; for the oldest, youngest and weakest, this aid can be the difference between life and death.
Many areas of Bangladesh suffer from abject poverty and food insecurity. At the moment, the Rohingya crisis is putting unprecedented strain on the country’s ability to deliver aid. As the winter months draw in, the 600,000 refugees who now reside in the border regions are particularly vulnerable.
With hundreds of thousands of people already in need of aid, the winter period will bring further complications to this problem. In addition to food, healthcare and shelter provision, winter emergency items will also need to be distributed through already stretched networks.
Yemen already faces the ongoing crises of conflict and cholera. As a result of this ongoing conflict, infrastructure has been badly damaged, hospitals and care facilities have been destroyed leaving the people of Yemen with little access to aid or even basic medical assistance.
As countless people are now homeless because of conflict, the winter months will undoubtedly bring more challenges, with around 70% of Yemenis already facing the reality of widespread famine.
The number of homeless people in the UK has been on the rise since 2011, with data showing an upturn of 134% between 2010 and 2016, at the same time the number of households living in temporary accommodation went up by 60%.
Forecasters have predicted this winter to be one of the coldest since 2013, with temperatures set to drop below 10c. The winter is a very difficult time for homeless people in the UK, with most unable to purchase warm clothing, food and maintain household heating to cope with the lower temperatures.