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3rd Year Drought Central Asia3rd Year*

In Asia, A Third Year Of Drought

Severe Food Shortages Caused By Lack Of Water

Afghanistan Among Countries Suffering Most

ROME, Sept. 28, 2001


(AP) Facing the third consecutive year of drought, countries in central Asia are facing severe food shortages and devastated crops and livestock, a U.N. food agency said Friday.

The worst affected countries include Afghanistan, where years of civil strife and fresh waves of population displacements -- ahead of feared military action by from the United States following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- have added to the pain.

Food supplies are also extremely scarce in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, where crop production has declined to nearly half the average output, said the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization.

Other affected countries in the area include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Georgia, while Syria, Iraq, Iran and Jordan are also experiencing water shortages.

The FAO report also said that monsoon rains and floods are causing food emergencies to millions of people in Far East countries, including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, as well as in India and Indonesia.

There are 34 countries worldwide facing food emergencies, half of which are in Africa, according to the report.

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