Afghan authorities have reported on Thursday that more than 160 people have died this month from the cold, as the country goes through the most severe winter season in more than a decade.

Villagers in the country have spoken of their inability to pay for fuel to heat their houses in well-below-freezing conditions.

“162 people have died due to cold weather since January 10 until now,” said Shafiullah Rahimi, a spokesperson for the Minister of Disaster Management.



Temperatures have dipped to as low as -34 degrees Celsius (-29.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

Even in the early days of winter, medical specialists noticed a significant increase in the number of young children suffering from severe pneumonia and other respiratory ailments. The ailments are partially attributable to rising poverty, which hinders individuals from appropriately heating their houses.