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Kabul seeks $598m to cope with drought, emergencies

Kabul seeks $598m to cope with drought, emergencies

Sep 28, 2011 - 17:26

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Afghan government would ask the international community for $598 million (29.3 trillion afghanis) to cope with draught and emergency situations, the agricultureinfo-icon minister informed the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon on Wednesday.

Mohammad Asif Rahimi said the Afghanistaninfo-icon National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) officials would make the funding request at a meeting with representatives of donor countries at the UN office in Kabul on Thursday.

$142 million of the funds would be used for dealing with emergency situations and the rest for coping with draught effects, the mister told lawmakers.

Based on a survey by his ministry, there are about 200,000 families that need emergency assistance. Currently, the ministry has 40,000 tonnes of wheat and feed for 20,000 animals for use in emergency situations.

He added the ministry had 10,000 tonnes of improved seeds for distribution to farmers living in draught-affected areas. The transportation of150,000 tonnes of wheat purchased from India had started, the minister said.

According to Rahimi, Afghanistan produced 3.2 million tonnes of wheat this year and needed to purchase another two million tonnes.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries, on Tuesday signed an agreement with Kazakhstan's Emergency Situation Minister on expanding trade ties between the two nations.

Wheat and flour would also be imported in large quantity under the agreement, Minister of Commerce and Industries Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi said.

Also present during the session, acting public healthinfo-icon minister, Dr. Suraya Dalil, said her ministry would ask donors for $2.7 million. The funds would be spent on purchasing medicine for residents of vulnerable areas in the winter, she said.

Mohammad Aslam Sayyas, the deputy head of ANDMA, said his organisation was ready to help vulnerable families in the winter.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi asked the government officials to send in time the required items to the provinces where highways were blocked by winter snow.



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