At least 157 people have died in Afghanistan's harsh winter, a Taliban official said Tuesday, with the death toll doubling in less than a week as millions face bitter temperatures with minimal humanitarian aid.

The country is suffering one of its coldest winters, with temperatures plummeting to as low as minus 28 degrees Celsius (minus 18 Fahrenheit) in early January -- far below the nationwide average of between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius for this time of year.