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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / AFGHANISTAN

Millions at Risk of Starvation, U.N. Says

July 10, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Afghanistan is teetering on the brink of widespread famine, threatening millions of lives, after a third successive year of drought, the U.N. World Food Program said.

A U.N. mission to Afghanistan in May warned that the almost total failure of this year's harvest meant that 5 million people would require food aid to survive, the WFP said.

"Given the scale and magnitude of the food crisis facing Afghanistan, the mission urges the most urgent international response to avert an imminent catastrophe," says a joint report by the WFP and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The WFP found that in Faryab province in the north and Badghis and Ghor provinces in the west, the poorest families have resorted to eating wild grasses.

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