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People in drought-stricken regions in dire straits

AT-KABUL: Afghanistan asks for more assistance from international donors to the drought-hit regions, saying there was a 61 per cent decrease in rainfall and snowfall last year.

Drought is now another problem government and people have to confront with besides insecurity and war.

State ministry for disaster management says it was unable to meet problems in the drought-hit area lonely, so, international donors should help it.

“We are using domestic sources including government budget to solve the drought-hit problems. But this is not enough and we want the international donors to assist us,” said deputy minister for disaster management, Mohammad AslamSayyas.

Sayyas said Wednesday that the first category of assistance covered areas mostly hit by drought and it was implemented in April. Second category, he said, included 20 provinces where people needed foodstuff and fodders, while the third category was the rest of areas.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has recently reported that drought has displaced more people than the war. It said that 275,000 people have been displaced due to drought since the beginning of the current year across the country, while the number of war displaced reaches to 223,000.

120,000 people were displaced in the provinces of Kandahar and Badghis only in the past week.

The government says that 20 provinces including Ghor, Badghis, Samangan, Faryab, Jawzjan, Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan and Zabul were critically facing drought problems.

Environment experts say that drought was a serious problem and the government should manage it immediately.

“The government organs need to inform people to be cautious in water consumption, so all could use it,” said environment expert, Wali Modaqqeq.

The United Nations had earlier said that 4.2 million Afghans had been displaced due to war.

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