Relief agencies scramble to fight drought
AT-KABUL: The government and some international relief organizations are seeking ways to deal with the impacts of a recent drought and food scarcity across Afghanistan. Two million people are facing severe starvation due to drought in Afghanistan, according to a report prepared by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
In a meeting held Monday at the presidential palace, government officials and representatives from international organizations exchanged views on meeting drought problem that faces mostly villagers.
“The aim of the meeting is how to collect the donations and coordinate their distribution. We also talked on how to attract more donations and distribute them to the needy people particularly the livestock breeders in the remote areas,” said Akbar Rostami, agriculture, irrigation and livestock ministry spokesman.
He added that the government needed 200 million dollars for the next two months to meet farmers and livestock breeders’ problems. “The scheme will be prolonged for nine months if drought tragedy continues,” Rostami said.
It added that two-third of Afghan population was threatened by famine caused by drought.
“20 of 34 provinces in Afghanistan have been affected by drought,” said the OCHA, adding that 15 million people rely on agriculture and livestock jobs.
The report said that 115 million dollars were needed to provide foodstuff and potable water for the drought-affected Afghans.
Ministry of agriculture also confirms drought danger due to decrease in snowfall and rainfall in several provinces.
Deputy state ministry on disaster management, said that donation process had already begun in the provinces that were on the “front line” of drought.
“People affected by severe drought have received donations and we are working to send more stuff with the help of the World Food Program (WFP),” Mohammad AslamSayyas said.
He added that enough wheat was reserved in the silos and zones belonged to the ministry of agriculture.
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