Thousands of Afghans Uprooted by Drought and Resurgent Violence

Nearly 4,000 families have been displaced by fierce fighting between government forces and the Taliban militia and by harsh drought in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. A local official who declined to be named said that the number of people displaced was much higher than the official figures. The families need urgent assistance such as food, tents and safe drinking water. Meanwhile, the deteriorating security situation has forced some foreign aid agencies in Helmand to temporarily shut down their relief operations. In addition to growing insecurity in the country, which has claimed the lives of some 2,000 people this year, harsh drought conditions in Afghanistan have resulted in some 2.5 million people facing an imminent food crisis.