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Hunger fears as Afghan snows approach

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Time is running out for more than two-and-a-half million people in drought stricken areas of Afghanistan according to international aid agencies.

Oxfam and Save the Children say many villagers have only limited supplies of food left and are likely to be cut-off for months without help when heavy winters snows fall over coming days.

Fourteen of the country's 24 provinces, most of them in the north of the country, have been hit by a drought, believed to be one of the worst this decade.

The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) says harvests in some areas have been almost completely wiped out, doubling the price of wheat and causing other food prices to soar.

Some 90% of households in affected areas are living in debt and many schools have closed because children have been sent to find work. The WFP says only half the funds needed were raised after an earlier appeal for assistance

Mike Thomson reports from the far north of mountainous Bamyan Province, on fears that the coming snows will cut off hunger-stricken villages from food aid.


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