Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Severe drought just struck northern Afghanistan, inducing shortfalls in crop yields. Over 2 millions of Afghans up north have begun to feel the severity of the shortfall.

The news is surely alarming, as it comes amid the eco-catastrophes of similar types in the Horn of Africa, parts of Pakistan, and other regions of the planet. The seeming coincidence of too many droughts is indicative of the dire consequences of ecological changes brought forth by both human intervention and natural phenomena.

Meantime, as winter now knocks at the doors of northern hemispheric communities, over 2 millions of Afghans face coupling disasters of hunger, diseases, and gargantuan mortalities due to the drought there. Is the world ready to respond to the new eco-challenge and help out the said small tillers and workers?

[Philippines, 26 December 2011]

In Afghanistan, Millions Face Hunger as Winter Approaches
By Ivy Mungcal on 21 November 2011
More than 2 million people in northern Afghanistan are facing hunger following a severe drought that has caused crop shortfall in the region. The situation is expected to worsen with the upcoming winter, according to several aid groups.
Nine aid groups, including Oxfam, have released a joint statement to highlight the situation and urge the international community and Afghan government to ensure people receive the food assistance they require quickly.
“Donors and relief agencies must remain vigilant and responsive as more resources will be required if the situation deteriorates because of a harsh winter,” said Manohar Shenoy, Oxfam’s country director in Afghanistan, according to The Associated Press.
Some aid agencies have also raised questions on why the situation in northern Afghanistan persists despite the billions of dollars in foreign aid received by the country.
One theory is that donors focus their aid programs in Helmand, Kandahar and other conflict-torn cities in southern Afghanistan, BBC notes, adding that aid agencies have slammed this policy, which they describe as “militarized aid.”
“They are aiming on winning hearts and minds by implementing quick fix, quick impact projects,” said Louise Hancock, Oxfam’s policy and advocacy director in Afghanistan. “These result in schools being built in areas where there are no roads going to them, where needs are not at their greatest or where there are not enough teachers to staff that school.
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