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This is the result of the worst drought Afghanistan has seen in years. Lack of rain has dried up what meager crops there were, killed off livestock, and forced hundreds of thousands of people to abandon their farms and seek homes elsewhere in order to survive. Farmer Mahildad and his family arrived at this dusty camp on the outskirts of Herat six months ago.
They spent several days traveling by bus from Badghis in the west, eventually reaching the camp to join relatives and more than 200,000 people who have been forced to give up their homes.>>
> It's tough to live in this tent. During the night it's very chilly and all my children are sick. We don't have money to take the children to the doctor. So what should we do, it's better we die than to be in such a condition.>> Billions of dollars have been spent since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, but Afghanistan remains a desperately poor country.
It lacks basic infrastructure and now faces an acute food shortage in many region. The United Nations says 2.6 million people are facing emergency level food insecurity, that's just one stage short of outright famine. In this camp, aid groups provide money and living equipment but there's dread over the harsh winter months ahead.
The UN says there are already reports of deaths among displaced children due to the cold. There are fears now that drinking water will become more scarce as more people are forced from their homes. And it looks as though there will be little respite for those worst affected. Officials say the drought could last for another two years.