Since 2005, the Bayat Foundation has assisted Afghanistan in meeting multiple medical, social service, and educational needs. The nonprofit foundation has placed a particular focus on offering food and clothing aid throughout the country, which is known for its harsh winter conditions. During the winter of 2013-2014, the Foundation continued its program of assisting people in Kunduz Province with donations of flour, rice, cooking oil, and other basic non-perishable foods. In addition, the group provided warm coats and blankets for those in need.
International news agencies noted that the winter of 2014 was especially harsh. Many homeless families in the nation had to live outdoors with little access to food in extremely inhospitable weather. Although the United Nations stepped up its efforts to provide emergency aid, there were not enough supplies to fill the need, and the still-fragile Afghan infrastructure was often unable to distribute goods and services efficiently.
Afghan winters typically feature heavy snowfall in the capital city of Kabul and across much of the country. Roads and mountain passes may be closed or inaccessible, and the Salang Pass, which provides a vital conduit between the northern and southern parts of the country, is often battered by avalanches several times during the season.