Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Drought Hits Central Afghanistan

Amidst fear of severe drought in the country, the World Food Program announced more than a month ago that it will be suspending its food assistance plans for more than 3 million in Afghanistan because of a shortage of funds. This came a decade later than international efforts to reduce poverty and strengthen family income in the country.

The agricultural Afghan economy is in dire need of strategic plans and mechanization schemes to increase productivity as a means to fight poverty and enhance revenue sources. Since the very first days in the post-Taliban era, the government and international donating agencies have embarked on merely short term projects to feed the dying people.

However, they need sustainable income sources that can be achieved only by needs-based plans and safe income mechanisms. Distributing urgent food among local residents will ensure no future of theirs. They will remain in the same unstable position and will be looking for more aids from the government and international donors which are rapidly declining.

Following continued food donations by international organizations and world countries, WFP initially planned to feed more than 7 million Afghans this year but said in June that its current resources would only allow it to reach 3.8 million people.

The agency added that it needs an additional $220 million to be able to push through with its original plan. In the meantime, reports say that local residents in the Central Hazarajat and parts of the Northern provinces are afflicted with severe drought, depriving them from their traditional source of income, agricultural products. Estimations had previously warned that a looming drought in Afghanistan's central highlands and northern regions was likely to increase the number of people in need of food assistance as the World Food Program planned to scale back its operations in the country.

Shortly before decline in international aids to the country, Afghan government officials seem to have no clear plans for food safety. More people will be forced to displacement in the very near future if government and international countries do not reach them with efficient help.

Reports say that more a dozen families are abandoning homes in the Central Provinces every day to get rid of poverty, drought and famine. Food assistance, however not a strategic approach to fight poverty, helped them survive the very hard period of food shortage and drought.

Cutting down aids will leave more people hungry and highly vulnerable to famine. This is high time the Afghan government and international forces have a look at them although they seem too busy with Taliban to deal with poverty and drought.