More Afghans displaced by drought than conflict, U.N. says

Source(s)
Thomson Reuters

By Tom Miles

A total of 275,000 people have been displaced by drought in western Afghanistan - 52,000 more than the number uprooted by conflict this year - with over two million threatened by the effects of water shortages, the United Nations said.

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Afghanistan, a country where nearly 20 million people rely on farming, has suffered a 45 per cent fall in agricultural output this year as the drought has bitten, officials at the ministry of agriculture have said.

In a regular update, the U.N. humanitarian office reported that 120,000 people fleeing the drought arrived in Qala-e-Naw city in Badghis province in the week to Sept. 9.

A second U.N. report, with data covering August, said more than 100,000 people may have moved to Herat city for the same reason by the end of last month. It estimated 2.2 million Afghans would be affected by the drought this year.

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