Complex Emergency Situation

Interesting report on the "complex emergency situation" (also known as a "complex humanitarian disaster") in Afghanistan up to last week, from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bureau for Humanitarian Response (BHR), and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). I knew about the ongoing civil war there; I hadn't realized they're in the third year of a major drought as well. The US has provided $177 million in aid, including almost $100 million worth of wheat, to Afghanistan and Afghans living outside the country in fiscal year 2001. (Not sure what period that covers in terms of calendar years.)

I have to partly retract what I said the other day about Bush having given $43 million to the Taliban in May due to their anti-drug policies. I found more info (buried in that linked LA Times article) which makes things more complex rather than more straightforward (so what else is new, Jed? The world's a complex place); it now looks to me like their anti-drug policies opened the way for us to provide $43 million in aid to farmers affected by the drought there. But I'm not clear on the connection between that aid and the anti-drug policy. Further research indicated, but not by me, not tonight.

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