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U-N Receives Pledges of $600 Million in Aid for Afghans - 2001-10-06


A United Nations donors conference has concluded with pledges of 600-million dollars in aid for millions of Afghans facing starvation and possible war.

The pledges meet U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan's appeal for funds to help stave off what aid workers say is a humanitarian crisis of stunning proportions.

U-N officials say some contributions must still be approved by government bodies before being split among U-N programs and international aid agencies.

The head of the U-N refugee agency, Ruud Lubbers says the donors meeting focused on both short-term emergency plans and long-term programs for displaced Afghans.

U-N officials say more than one and one-half million Afghans could flee to Iran and Pakistan if the United States takes military action in response to last month's terrorist attacks. More than three-million displaced Afghans already live in the two countries.

Officials say air drops may became necessary to get food to remote areas of Afghanistan. But they say the drops will not be possible until as yet unspecified security measures are put in place.

Afghanistan's population has suffered from three years of drought and more than two decades of military conflict.

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