Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|starving people eating animal fodder -Afghanistan|
|04/09/01 at 22:34:05|
|MON APR 09 2001 01:04 P.M. G.M.T. |
UN says starving people eating animal fodder in north Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD, April 9 (AFP) - Food stocks are dwindling in the northeastern Afghanistan and people are compelled to eat animal fodder and dangerous wild seeds and plants, United Nations officials said Monday.
People are supplementing food stocks with wild pulses and animal fodder, including a variety called pattak which contains human neurotoxins," the office of the UN Co-ordinator for Afghanistan said.
A UN mission sent to assess famine deaths in the drought-hit Shar-i-Buzurg and Ragh districts of the opposition held Badakhshan province has reported that people were using pattak "which has resulted in limb paralysis" in some parts of Ragh, it said.
"The missions found no cases of outright starvation but did record an alarmingly high level of infant mortality," it said.
The high mortality rate was due to measles, acute respiratory infections and a varying degree of chronic malnutrition, it said.
"Emergency medical teams have been dispatched to respond to the outbreaks," it said.
Around 100,000 people have been displaced in Ragh and Shar-i Buzurg and northern Takhar and Kunduz provinces over the past three months .
It said the problems of the people had been compunded due to ongoing conflict and refusal by neighbouring Pakistan to allow food supplies from its area.
The Taliban, which controls around 90 percent of Afghanistan, had blocked the internal route from northern Mazar-i-Sharif through Taloqan in Takhar, while the route from Tajikistan had been periodically blocked by conflict, it said.
"The Pakistani authorities have prohibited the import of food from Chitral. As a result, prices have increased dramatically."
In Badakhshan province's capital Faizabad, for example, wheat is twice the price that it is elsewhere in the country, it said.
The statement said by the end of March, more than 80,000 people displaced by conflict received 100 kilos of wheat from the World Food Programme.
In addition, several non governmental orgaanisations (NGOs) were resuming the relief work in the snow covered districts, it said.
Copyright (c) 2001, AFP
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