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Afghanistan building up wheat reserves for expected drought

The government of Afghanistan has begun stockpiling up to 500,000 tons of wheat throughout the country to prepare for an impending drought. The goal is have reserves available to aid vulnerable communities and to avoid food shortages and soaring food prices, according to IRINnews.org.

"We plan to store 500,000 tons of wheat - sufficient for 10 percent of the population for one year - in our strategic reserves," Majeed Qarar, spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, told the news source.

The conflict in the southern part of the country is a humanitarian crisis for the citizens living in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, and the lack of snow and rain during the winter could be detrimental to the predominantly agrarian economy.

Currently, only 22 percent of Afghanis have access to safe drinking water and a drought would cause water shortages and possible sanitation problems if left unchecked. The government hopes to make the necessary preparations to help a populace ravaged by years of war, food shortages and corruption.

According to the 2007-2008 National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA), one third of Afghanistan's population is unable to get enough food to live active and healthy lives. 
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