Afghans face widespread famine|
UPDATED ON: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2006
Millions of people in Afghanistan
could face starvation after drought destroyed
crops in the north and west of the country, a
British charity has warned.
Christian Aid looked at 66
villages and found that farmers in the
worst-affected areas had lost all of their crops
after the rains failed during winter and
Their study found that most of
the water sources in Herat, Badghis and Ghor
provinces had dried up and the wheat harvest was
down by 90 to 100 per cent in parts of
Ninety to 100 per cent of
the rain-dependent harvest in Herat had gone and
the harvest, reliant on irrigation, was down by
40 per cent.
There was also
a 70 to 90 per cent drop in the harvest in the
province of Ghor.
Christian Aid urged
international donors to pledge funds for
Afghanistan's $76 million emergency drought
appeal which was set up by the government and
the United Nations.
"People are not dying of
starvation yet, but it is very obvious that a
great deal of help is needed or the situation
will become very serious within a few months,"
said Sultan Maqsood Fazel, from Christian Aid in
"Meat is scarce in some areas
and people are telling us that their food
supplies will not last much longer."
The survey found that farm
workers were leaving areas severely affected by
drought to find work, placing increased pressure
on areas which still have water
Christian Aid estimates that
more than one million people in the region were
affected by the drought.
Dr Ahmad Zia Shams, from the
agency for humanitarian and development
assistance in Afghanistan, said: "There is a
shortage of water in rivers and wells and the
rapidly falling water tables have resulted in an
acute shortage of drinking water and water for
July, the UN and the Afghan government said that
2.5 million people were suffering from food
shortages, in addition to the 6.5 million
Afghans in rural areas who suffer from annual
seasonal food shortages.
Original article: Al Jazeera
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