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kabul
September 29, 2018
The Kabul Times

UK provides £10 million to counter drought in Afghanistan

British officials have declared that they would provide £10 million for countering drought in Afghanistan. The new aid package is to be spent for addressing areas facing with serious threat of drought in the country.
Based on remarks of the country’s International Development Agency, the new aid package will provide immediate food and nutrition aid for people who were already in a critical situation, including by distributing fortified wheat flour, vegetable oil, pulses, salt and other nutritious foods to prevent malnutrition.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, announcing the aid on Monday in Kabul, said: “The drought in Afghanistan is an unfolding crisis, with 1.4 million people’s lives at risk when this year’s harvest fails in a number of provinces in only a matter of weeks.”
A statement from the British embassy quoted here as urging other countries to join the international effort to support some of the world’s most vulnerable people. The statement added that more than 441,000 people were in critical situation due to severe drought in Afghanistan and they would be benefited from the UK new aid package.
The UK support is part of a response being coordinated by the United Nations and government of Afghanistan.
Previously, officials for State Ministry for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs by expressing concern over severe drought and life condition of those displaced due to drought in the country had said: “MAIL, MRRD, MoPH and MoRR have been tasked to take necessary preventive steps towards addressing drought-affected families in the country.”
Based on official statistics of the government, 20 provinces in particular Ghor, Badghis, Farah, Helmand, Zabul, Uruzgan and Jawzjan have been affected by severe drought. But, State Ministry for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs  stressed that the ministry was making effort to prevent displacement of drought-affected families to other provinces of the country.
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) has also provender of necessary preparations to address areas which are facing with threat of severe drought.
“MAIL has taken all necessary preparations to provide animal grasses to drought-affected provinces so that they can prevent from further loss of livestock,” a spokesperson to MAIL Akbar Rustami said.
A number of Afghan experts consider increasing insecurities and ongoing war, cutting forests, lack of seasonal rainfalls as causes of severe drought in some provinces of the country.
“Unfortunately, the government of Afghanistan has not taken any particular program in hand to address drought in the country. It is necessary that the government should coordinate aids provided for drought-affected families and prevent from displacement of these families to other provinces, or they will leave their home villages and migrate to other provinces,” an Afghan expert Mohammad Mudaqiq said.
He added that the threat of drought was as threat of terrorism that can make society suffer; therefore, particular programs should be taken in this regard.
Based on a report released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (UNOCHA), nearly 70% of Afghanistan’s soil is facing with severe drought and approximately 2.2 million people affected by the drought in the country.
Suraya Raiszada

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