Drought will affect 2 million Afghans, aid groups say


An Afghan man pumps water from a well March 11, 2003 in Kabul, Afghanistan. A six-year drought has dried up dams and forced workers to drill wells and hand dig tunnels in efforts to bring water into the cities.


Darren McCollester

Major food shortages brought on by drought are affecting more than 2 million people in Afghanistan and the coming winter could exacerbate the crisis, the Associated Press reported

Nine relief agencies issued an official statement Friday, warning the Afghan government and international community the crisis could deepen across 14 northern provinces in Afghanistan.

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"Time was already running short. With snow falling in the highlands, the situation for many people has now become critical and soon most of the region will be affected by snow," Manohar Shenoy of Oxfam said in a statement.

The lack of water has affected up to 80 percent of the country’s wheat crops and a UN appeal for $142 million in early October to address the issue has been only 7 percent funded, according to the AP report.

Droughts in the past two decades have created food shortages for millions of Afghans and the government have built water reservoirs and dams in an attempt to improve water management.

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The majority of the country is dependent on the environment with 80 percent of the population sustaining itself through farming and herding, according to the UN.