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US Official Warns of New Exodus from Afghanistan due to Food Shortage - 2002-10-01


A top U-S aid official warns that food shortages may start a new exodus of refugees from Afghanistan.

Speaking to reporters today (Thursday) in Geneva, the U-S Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee and Migration Affairs, Gene Dewey, says Afghans need 80-thousand tons of food to get through the upcoming winter.

About two-million Afghans have returned home from Pakistan and Iran since the fall of the Taleban late last year.

But Mr. Dewey says that if the food shortage is not overcome, the former refugees could start flocking from rural areas to the cities, and even back into Pakistan.

Mr. Dewey called on other countries to give more food to Afghanistan. He says the United States now provides more than 80 percent of food assistance needed in the country, and says other countries need to share the burden.

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