Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, December 16th, 2019

UN Official Says Afghanistan Needs Help to Tackle Drought

UN Official Says Afghanistan  Needs Help to Tackle Drought

KABUL - UN official says the Afghan government needs support to help people hit by drought in 22 provinces of Afghanistan.
A senior UN official in Afghanistan says the country will face harsh consequences of drought if action is not taken to overcome the problem. He said people in 22 provinces of Afghanistan, especially in the north and west, are suffering from an unprecedented drought.
Talking to TOLO news this week, Toby Lanzer, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, said two million Afghans are suffering from drought in the country and that they are in a bad condition.
“My fear is that if we don’t take concerted action to support the government now, the situation could be much much worse in just six months time,” he said.
The UN official recommended action against drought within the next six months in terms of providing food for the people and their cattle.
He said he has visited some drought-hit provinces in Afghanistan where he saw people who were faced with food shortage. To address the humanitarian needs, Lanzer said, they have urged the international community to grant $715 million.
“I was just in the north of the country. I visited Kunduz, I have also been to Baghlan very recently and I am reaching these provinces by road so that I can listen to people and see how grave the situation is. People are telling me that across the north and western parts of Afghanistan there are perhaps two million people who have lost their livelihoods, whose livestock, so sheep and goats and cows are getting sick or they do not have enough food to eat. And so the situation is very very grave,” said Lanzer.
Logar is among drought-hit provinces. Officials from Logar Rural Rehabilitation and Development Directorate said around 2,000 families are suffering from drought in the province.
“We have sent our engineers to the area where 2,000 families are faced with lack of water,” AshiqullahEkhlas, the provincial director of rural rehabilitation and development, said. 
“People have left their homes and have gone to the provincial center, but they are faced with water shortage here as well,” said Abdul Basir, a resident of Logar.
The UN has urged the international community to provide $715 million USD to address problems raised from drought. From this money, around $600 million will be invested by the Afghan government to support farmers and livestock breeders and $115 million will be spent by the UN to provide foods to people in need.  (Tolo news)