Afghanistan’s wheat production will reduce by nearly two million metric tons this year as a result of drought in the country, President Ghani said in a video message released on June 22. The country had produced a total of 5.1 million metric tons wheat last year.
He added that more than three million livestock are in danger of devastation due to lack of fodder and water this year. The President stated the Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) has been working to reduce this danger.
According to him, there are villages impacted by the drought in every district and province.
President Ghani assured people, especially those living in areas vulnerable to drought, that he is addressing the issue as a national priority.
He instructed the MAIL and the State Ministry for Disaster Management to classify drought-affected areas into “severe”, “serious” and “moderate” so that aids could be distributed accordingly.
30 percent of the country’s land is exposed to severe drought, 50 percent to serious drought, and another 20 percent to moderate drought, he said.
The President also assured the aid will be distributed transparently to the people-in-need all over the country.
Moreover, the President also urged the Taliban to cooperate in aid distribution for drought hit territories controlled by the militant group by reducing the level of violence and destruction.
Finding the government’s allocated budget for tackling the drought issue as “insufficient”, he called on NGOs to align their operations with a national vision developed by the government.
He has instructed the Ministry of Finance to reduce budget deficits in close coordination with all international partners that include the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and partner countries.
Ghani also urged donor countries to increase their humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
This is while, in a meeting with Amrullah Saleh, first Vice President, on Tuesday, June 22, Patricia Danzi, director general of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, said her country will provide 104 million Swiss francs in aid to Afghanistan by 2024.
The press office of the First Vice President said in a press release that Switzerland provides the assistance for different sectors in Afghanistan.