Didn’t remember this famine. Came across article by Martin Regg Cohn, “Isolated Afghanistan nears ‘edge of an abyss’, U.N. warns”, Toronto Star, March 25, 2001, pp. A1, A8.

And where it is still possible to freeze to death in Afghanistan in March.


“After two decades of war, Afghanistan’s man-made misery is being overtaken by the unpredictable forces of a natural disaster.”

“More than 1 million people are ‘at risk of starvation’, says the United Nations”

“It’s all from Allah–the cold, the hunger. The most unimaginable fate has befallen us.”

Baghi Kudus, quoted as he carried the body of his five year-old daughter to a fresh grave, being dug by family members. She had succumbed to hunger and cold.

Reporting from Herat, Afghanistan.

Here in Herat, one of the most inaccessible regions in an already isolated country, another 100,000 are crammed into this camp, which swells by hundreds of people every day. The refugee flow from the western province of Badghis was made worse by the absence of foreign aid workers, who have kept their distance since the mysterious murder of seven workers last year.

…One morning last week, Abdul Kader drove his creaking, 10-tonne Russian truck into the Maslakh camp carrying in his pocket a folded list of the 27 families–147 villagers–packed into the overflowing cargo hold behind him.

The refugees had flagged him down as he was returning empty from a run to the northeast and begged to be let on board.

Men, women and children were weeping: bereft of livestock, starved for food, desperate for water. Kader waved them on board. For 300 kilometres they hunkered down on a winding road so bumpy it was “like riding on a donkey”, says Kader, 38, who feared he might lose some of his passengers on hairpin turns.

As the driver finally steered his truck into the camp, his weary passengers clambered down in a daze, overwhelmed by the site of the thousands who had preceded them…

Hunter McGill, in charge of humanitarian assistance for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) says Ottawa is watching the drought closely.

But he laments the inaction of the ruling Taliban, which has been distracted by fighting a civil war and its controversial religious ruling to destroy the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan.

Piety through kindness, concern…

Evil through the fundamental…


About brucelarochelle
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