Risk of hunger and deprivation
Often the roads that connect communities and move food and supplies between the different towns become water logged and impassable as a result of the flooding. Getting these roads functioning again takes time, money and coordination, meaning that many communities get cut off during the winter months. This inevitably puts pressure on food supply levels that can reach isolated communities, leading to hunger and deprivation.
Rebuilding a struggling local economy
In many developing nations, the winters, though shorter, are as cold, wet and bitingly hard as the summers are hot, dry and parched. These extremes of weather cause an imbalance in terms of finding a rhythm and routine of life which is necessary for a thriving economy.
For many, winter is a time of deprivation due to lack of available work. In rural locations, work may be found on the farms, and selling produce in nearby towns. But come the winter that work dries up and there is a waiting game until the next season. When that country is them also going through times of crisis causes by conflict or natural disaster, even the most meagre of incomes disappears, and families are left with no means of feeding, or living.
Temporary living leading to temporary lives
Temperatures in many countries can drop to single figures, and as cold fronts scuttle across the earth, these temperatures can drop yet further to below freezing. Displaced families who may have previously been able to hunker down in their homes during the winter months, no longer have those homes. Often they find themselves placed in refugee camps living in makeshift tents, with inadequate clothing and supplies and sanitation to protect them during the colder months.
The cold is difficult enough to deal with. Combine that with wet weather affecting temporary camps with poor drainage and mud roads which become a quagmire very quickly, and you have many hundreds of thousands who are at risk of infection and disease. In these conditions, a simple cough can soon develop into a serious lung infection, at best compromising the individual’s long term immunity, and at worst putting them at risk of death.
Are wealthier nations more generous in the winter?
There is evidence that suggests that charitable donations in wealthier, developed nations, increase during the winter time. Whether because of the ‘season of goodwill’, or because it is a time during which people in general focus on other people, and understand how fortunate they are, could contribute to this.
Whatever the reason, choosing to give to a charity on a regular basis is crucial to the wellbeing of millions of displaced people throughout the world. Knowing that as winter sets in and those struggles are exacerbated, every pound donated is going to significantly help vulnerable families survive the worst months and work on rebuilding their lives for their own long term wellbeing.