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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 September 2006, 02:36 GMT 03:36 UK
UK charity warns of Afghan famine
Children at a Kabul orphanage sitting down for a meal
Children are among those most at risk, the study suggests
Millions of people in Afghanistan face starvation after a drought destroyed crops, a UK charity has warned.

A Christian Aid survey of 66 villages suggests farmers in the worst affected areas have lost all their produce.

The aid agency is urging the British government and international bodies to give money to prevent people starving in north and west Afghanistan.

The crop failure comes as fighting continues in the south between the Nato-led troops and the Taleban.

Most of the water has dried up in the provinces of Herat, Badghis and Ghor, and the wheat harvest is down by 90% to 100% in parts of Faryab province, the study indicates.

The Afghan government has set up a drought appeal which needs 41m.

We are facing a serious drought threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions in Afghanistan
John Davison
Christian Aid

John Davison, from Christian Aid, said: "This week the world will clearly be remembering the terrible events of 11 September 2001 in New York and Washington.

"We would ask them also to remember that five years ago, there was a drought in Afghanistan that threatened the lives of five million people.

"While much has happened on the international scene over this period, once again we are facing a serious drought threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions in Afghanistan."

The survey indicates those most at risk from starvation are children, pregnant women, landless families and the elderly.

Sultan Maqsood Fazel, from Christian Aid in Afghanistan, said the situation would become very serious within a few months.

Christian Aid estimates more than a million people in Herat, Ghor, Farah, Badghis and Faryab are affected by the drought.

The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) described the report as "worrying".

"It paints a more serious picture than reports to date from the UN, although it highlights the same parts of the country," said a spokesman.

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