GENEVA / AFGHANISTAN WINTER CAMPAIGN

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03-Dec-2021 00:03:00
As winter arrives in Afghanistan, and with “truly unprecedented levels” of hunger, avoiding widespread starvation “is an immediate priority”, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Friday. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / AFGHANISTAN WINTER CAMPAIGN
TRT: 03:00
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 03 DECEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

RECENT - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations

03 DECEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Med shot, press conference room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Babar Baloch, Spokesperson UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is certainly not going away. It’s just increasing and multiplying in its scale. Today we're highlighting the need for displaced Afghans during the winter months. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is appealing for much more support amid acute and rising humanitarian needs for some 3.5 million people displaced by conflict only inside Afghanistan.”
4. Med shot, Baloch delivering his speech
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Babar Baloch, Spokesperson UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“This figure includes some 700’000 that were displaced during this year in 2021 so far. A lack of insulated shelters, warm clothes, insufficient fuel for heating and inadequate amounts of food and medical supplies are just some of the deprivations that the forcibly displaced are facing in Afghanistan. As temperatures begin to plunge below freezing, being in Kabul and other parts of the country in the night, it's already either already below zero or near zero.”
6. Med shot, journalist taking notes
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Babar Baloch, Spokesperson UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“Temperatures are expected to drop to minus 25 Celsius, and many displaced families lack proper shelters, a primary requirement if they are to survive the bitter cold in Afghanistan. The humanitarian crisis is escalating daily in Afghanistan. Hunger in the country has reached truly unprecedented levels. Nearly 23 million people, that's 55 per cent of the population (who) are facing extreme levels of hunger, and nearly nine million of them are at risk of famine.”
8. Med shot, journalists attending the press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Babar Baloch, Spokesperson UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“Currently, we are able to reach nearly 60’000 people every week. But as we reach thousands of people, we find thousands of people more who are in need of humanitarian assistance. Further resources are urgently needed for the most vulnerable, like single mothers with no shelter or food for their children.”
10. Closeup, participant, podium speakers in the background
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Babar Baloch, Spokesperson UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):
“And it's a race against time, not only catching up to reach more people but also finding more people in Afghanistan that that need our support. And it's a crisis of hunger and starvation. People don't have enough to eat, and it's very visible.”
12. Close up, podium speakers in profile
13. Med shot, journalists taking notes and watching
14. Med shot, participant
15. Med shot, technician

STORYLINE:

As winter arrives in Afghanistan, and with “truly unprecedented levels” of hunger, avoiding widespread starvation “is an immediate priority”, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said today (03 Dec).

“It's a crisis of hunger and starvation. People don't have enough to eat, and it's very visible,” said Babar Baloch UNHCR spokesperson, as the organization launched a global fundraising winter campaign to help forcibly displaced families in Afghanistan and elsewhere to cope with the most life-threatening months of the year.

Speaking in Geneva following his recent return from Kabul, Mr. Baloch pointed out that a lack of insulated shelters, warm clothes, insufficient food, fuel for heating, and medical supplies are just some of the deprivations confronting forcibly displaced people.

With temperatures “expected to drop to minus 25c, many displaced families lack proper shelter – a primary requirement if they are to survive the bitter cold,” he said.

UNHCR is appealing for much more support for 3.5 million people displaced by conflict inside Afghanistan, including 700,000 who were displaced in 2021.

According to Mr. Baloch, nearly 23 million people, or 55 per cent of the population, are facing extreme levels of hunger, and nearly nine million of them are at risk of famine. This year, some 700,000 displaced people across the country have been assisted by UNHCR, the majority since mid-August.

The UN agency is assisting nearly 60,000 people every week. “But as we reach thousands of people, we find thousands more people who are in need of humanitarian assistance, Mr. Baloch explained, before appealing for “further resources for the most vulnerable, like single mothers with no shelter or food for their children” or older persons who have been displaced are left to take care of orphaned grandchildren, and those taking care of loved ones with special needs.

The UNHCR spokesperson noted that relief supplies have been brought in by the agency’s teams by road through Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries and humanitarian flights.

Five more flights carrying winter supplies are scheduled for next week, Baloch said, reiterating that support to cope with the extreme conditions will continue until February 2022, including core relief items, such as thermal blankets and warm winter clothing. Shelters are also being repaired and reinforced, and vulnerable families are being provided with cash assistance.
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UNTV CH
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unifeed211203a
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2693221