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The other battle in Afghanistan is for food


Fri, Nov 9th, 2001
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Monday, November 12, 2001

While the United States attacks Taliban-held positions in Afghanistan, there is another critical battle underway in the central Asian country: how to feed the millions of people without food.

We havent been hearing too much in the media about the international relief effort that is underway to bring relief supplies into the war-torn country. In 1993, when I was the Director of Oxfam Hong Kong (OHK), an international relief and development agency, OHK responded to the famine crisis in Somalia.

Afghanistan reminds me in many ways of the situation in Somalia then: a brutal civil war was underway, with certain territories of the country being held by different warlord-like factions; there was widespread famine with no central government able to meet the needs of its people; there were insufficient food supplies due to drought and war; thousands of displaced people were on the move within the country; and there were tremendous logistical problems facing international relief agencies as they tried to respond to the situation.

Oxfam International, based in England, reports that Afghani harvests this year were about 50 percent of normal and that food has now run out for many Afghan people. They estimate that up to 7.5 million people out of a population of 26 million people may need food assistance to survive this year.

I have surveyed the websites of a number of international relief organizations that I have had contacts with in the past to see what each is doing to respond to this humanitarian disaster.

Inside Afghanistan
World Food Program (WFP). This U.N. agency based in Rome is the largest food aid agency in the world. In the year 2000, it fed 43 million people in 83 countries.

WFP has accelerated its overland deliveries into Afghanistan, sending truck convoys from Iran, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan. From October 9-16, it delivered 5000 metric tonnes (a metric tonne is 2,200 lbs), enough to feed 1.5 million people. With two million people in central Afghanistan, who may be cut off with the onset of winter, WFP is looking into airlifting 5000 tonnes of food per month into the area. At present, WFP hosts 157 bakeries in the country. The cost of feeding six million people, the number WFP has used for planning purposes, is $257 million.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC is developing pipelines via Baluchistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and U .....
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Foods Weekly Ads

Fri, Nov 9th, 2001
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Fri, Nov 9th, 2001
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Fri, Nov 9th, 2001
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Fri, Nov 9th, 2001
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To the editor,

We are thankful for the courageous leadership of our government officials in this difficult time, and for the restraint they showed, not responding with a knee-jerk reaction, but working to build a wide coalition of nations.
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Nov 9th, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, November 12, 2001

To the Editor,

I just heard on the radio that many charities are noticing a decrease in revenue, one reason being the downturn of the economy.

Well, the people of Carimona Town ..... 
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Vernon H. Vigeland

Fri, Nov 9th, 2001
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Vernon H. Vigeland, 77, of LaCrosse, Wis., formerly of Mabel, Minn. died March 12, 2001 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel where he had resided for only a week.

Vernon was born September 5, 1923 in Preble Township, Fillmore County, M ..... 
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Gladys Judith Swain

Fri, Nov 9th, 2001
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Gladys Judith Swain, 93, of Rushford, a homemaker, died March 7, 2001 at her home.

Gladys Judith Williams was born May 15, 1907, on the Humble farm at Highland Prairie, moved to North Dakota with her family when she was 3 months old and retu ..... 
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Ronald Thorson

Fri, Nov 9th, 2001
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Ronald Thorson, 65, of rural Mabel, a retired Lockheed Corp. employee, died April 28, 2001 at Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital in Decorah, Iowa.

Ronald was born Aug. 28, 1935, in Decorah to Levi and Esther (Rotvold) Thorson. He graduated ..... 
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