14 provinces threatened by drought: Khalili
KABUL (PAN): A severe drought is threatening 14 provinces of Afghanistan's 34 provinces and Kabul needs $42 million (6.8 trillion afghanis) in assistance to deal with the situation, a senior official said on Saturday.
Balkh, Samangan, Takhar, Herat, Badghis, Ghor, Sari-i-Pul, Faryab, Jawzjan, Baghlan, Kunduz, Badakhshan, Bamyan, Daikundi are under threat, said Vice President Karim Khalili, also chairman of the committee for emergency assistance.
Millions of people and animals were under threat, Khalili told a news conference in Kabul. A survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock shows this year's drought is more severe.
Although the ministry has distributed 40,000 tonnes of wheat, 5,000 tonnes of rice, 10,000 tonnes of improved seeds and 20,000 tonnes of animal feed, foreign assistance is still needed, according to the VP.
The distribution of 9,500 tonnes of animal feed -- purchased from the Japanese government with the help of World Food Programme (WFP) -- would start soon in the 14 provinces, he said.
Agriculture Minister Mohammad Asif Rahimi told lawmakers on September 28 the Afghan government would ask the international community for $598 million to cope with drought and emergency situations.
Based on the survey by his ministry, about 200,000 families need emergency assistance. The ministry has 40,000 tonnes of wheat and feed for 20,000 animals for use in emergency situations.
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