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Reference : V-F-CR-F-00669-A
Date : 04/2001
Country/Region : AFGHANISTAN
Title : Afghanistan : IDPs : drought forces tens of thousand from their homes
Duration : 00:02:32
Person appearing :
MIRAQUA, Noori (agronome, CICR)
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Production company : ICRC
Cameraman : SIDLER, Roland
Description : The three year drought affecting central and northern Afghanistan is forcing tens of thousands of people to leave their homes in search of food and grazing. In Herat, central Afghanistan, 80,000 people have already arrived in the makeshift camp at Mashlakh. Around a hundred more arrive each day, having walked several days to get here. Some tents and basic food supplies are being provided but there is not enough to go round and thousands of families are sleeping out in the open. The people in the camp are largely subsistence farmers who rely on rainfall to grow annual crops, since irrigation systems such as canals and ditches are either non-existent or have been neglected during the past decades of civil war. The Taliban authorities in the camp are urging these internally displaced people, or 'IDPs', to return home where some humanitarian aid is being provided by organisations including the ICRC. Said Raz Mohammad, director of the office for displaced people in Herat, explains: ' I have appealed to international organisations on several ocasions to help people in their home regions, and to give them seed for agriculture. They badly need it. If we give them what they need to feed themselves, they won't move away and there won't be this pressure.' The increasing numbers of people in the camp are too great for the available resources. Water is in short supply, sanitary conditions are inadequate and there are fears that epidemics such as cholera will spread. Conditions are likely to get worse as spring gives way to summer. Most of the people in the Herat camp come from Ghor Province, seven days' march away. In an attempt to discourage people from leaving home, the ICRC is distributing food and grain in Barakham in Ghor province. So far, around 70,000 people out of a population of 300,000 have received aid but resources are insufficient. Hundreds of families wait patiently at the distribution point, desperate for supplies of food and seed. But without rain, it will be difficult if not impossible to produce a useful harvest. ICRC agronomist, Noori Miraqua, explains, ''Because of the drought all the sheep and goats have been lost, because there is no pasture, no grass to feed them, so there is no other possibility. It is not on the border there is no trade, because these people are very poor.'' There is growing concern that this humanitarian disaster will worsen unless greater measures are taken to enable people to stay in their villages, and to avoid large-scale migrations of people.
Original language : International soundtrack
English title : Afghanistan : IDPs : drought forces tens of thousand from their homes
Colour/B&W : colour
Original material/format : Betacam SP
Best material/format available : Betacam SP

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