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Thursday, 27 April, 2000, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
Severe drought threatens Pakistan
Pakistan
Reports of drought are widespread across the region
By Zaffer Abbas in Islamabad

Emergency relief operations are under way in Pakistan where large parts of the region have been badly hit by drought.

The Pakistan Government is focusing on the seriously affected Baluchistan province while United Nations agencies and international relief organisations assess the drought situation across the country.

Representatives are expected to meet in Islamabad next week to prepare a joint strategy to tackle the spreading crisis.

There have been no rains Baluchistan for the last three years, which has badly affected livestock and forced people from some remote villages to migrate to cities in search of food and water.

Officials say the government has already started sending food and supplies to meet immediate needs in the province.

Region in crisis

Baluchistan is not the only region affected by the drought.

Parts of the southern province of Sindh have also been hit.

International relief agencies say a severe drought has hit the Tharparkar area which borders the Indian state of Rajisthan.

United Nations agencies and other international relief organisations are responding to the warnings with an in-depth study to assess the gravity of the situation.

These agencies are also assessing the drought situation in neighbouring Afghanistan before the meeting in Islamabad next week.

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See also:

27 Apr 00 | South Asia
Oxfam issues drought warning
27 Apr 00 | South Asia
In pictures: India's drought
26 Apr 00 | South Asia
Drought hits southern Afghanistan
27 Apr 00 | South Asia
India steps up drought relief
26 Apr 00 | South Asia
India dismisses drought fears
23 Apr 00 | South Asia
Drought appeal in India
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