What do you get if you combine an ongoing civil war along with the worst drought in 30 years? In the case of Afghanistan the result is a potential humanitarian disaster. The World Food Programme recently warned that unless it receives additional aid from donor countries, it will run out of aid sometime in February 2000 — the worst possible time thanks to Afghanistan’s harsh winters. Appeals for additional aid this summer brought in only half of what the World Food Programme expected.
According to to the WFP, up to one million Afghans could face starvation. “If we do not receive new pledges this month, we will have to cut down or stop our operations in Afghanistan at a time when Afghans will be in the midst of the pre-harvest hungry season,” the WFP’s Gerard van Dijk told the BBC.
According to the BBC, about 80 percent of Afghanistan’s population are subsistence farmers — the constant warfare since the 1980s has pretty much destroyed any economic alternatives for the bulk of the population.
Wartorn Afghanistan Facing Up To Worst Drought In 30 Years. Press release, The World Food Programme, October 2000.
UN agency pleads for Afghan aid. The BBC, October 27, 2000.
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