KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan could face drought and famine this year, with 17 million people facing risk of hunger, warns the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
An emergency response officer with IOM in Afghanistan said reduced levels of snowfall and rain this winter across the country could lead to drought and famine.
In a statement from IOM, Nick Bishop called for putting in place an effective humanitarian response plan to cushion the impact of the likely natural calamities.
The IOM officer said: “Afghanistan’s agriculture is heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture and snowmelt… so the humanitarian response plan for this year suggests that as many as 17 million Afghans – about 42 percent of the total population – will be impacted by drought and famine.”
Last year, IOM recorded its largest-ever return for undocumented Afghan migrants, with almost a million returnees. “That is almost double the previous year.”
Additionally,, thousands of internally-displaced people, due to ongoing conflicts in large parts of the country, were struggling with unemployment, the organisation said.
The situation of Afghans struggling with unemployment could get even worse due to the shortage of rain and snow in Afghanistan in the past few months, Bishop explained.
The statement added: “Peace negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan officials have stalled. Violence across the country is on the rise and experts predict a possible drought on the way.”