Our nation’s presence in Afghanistan made its way back to the collective conscience last week when Afghan President Hamid Karzai appeared in a joint press conference with President Barack Obama. This post features a few images of daily life from late December and the first few weeks of January. Simple things – shelter, food – remain challenges for many of the Afghan people – displaced by years and years of conflict and war. — Paula Nelson ( 30 photos total)

An Afghan woman stands to receive winter supplies at a UNHCR distribution center for needy refugees at the Women’s Garden in Kabul, Jan. 2, 2013. Hundreds of families living in makeshift shelters around the Afghan capital collected blankets, charcoal and other supplies as authorities struggle to avoid last year’s deadly winter toll. With temperatures dropping to -10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) at night in the city, the 35,000 refugees who live in the snow-covered camps face a battle to survive dire conditions protected only by plastic sheeting. Despite Afghanistan receiving billions of dollars of aid since 2001, more than 100 children died last year during the harshest winter in two decades. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)