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    EC releases more aid for drought victims

    KABUL (PAN): The European Commission (EC) said on Tuesday it would immediately release additional funding of €1.5 million to boost food assistance to drought victims in northern Afghanistan.

    Bringing the total European Commission humanitarian aid and civil protection response to the drought crisis to €4.5 million, the aid will benefit some 72,000 vulnerable people.

    "The drought is heavily impacting on communities in many parts of northern Afghanistan which have been repeatedly weakened by conflict, insecurity and under-development," said the European commissioner for international cooperation.

    Kristalina Georgieva, fearing the crisis would worsen before the 2012 harvest, said Europe was acting to provide further relief and preparedness to help the Afghans through the disaster.

    A statement from EC said the funding would be channelled through the humanitarian partners of the European Commission, Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department. The first phase will consist of providing cash transfers to the most vulnerable households so that they can buy food and other necessities.

    In a second phase, the department will monitor the evolution of the situation in vulnerable households, including the price of food and, if needed, will support further actions to strengthen the future resilience of the affected communities.