Ghazni Afghanistan

Britain Makes Aid Pledge To Afghanistan

A severe drought in the country comes against a background of three decades of conflict and poverty.

Ghazni Afghanistan

The aftermath of an attack in the Afghan city of Ghazni earlier this year (Picture: PA).

Britain has pledged to provide vital food, shelter and clean water to hundreds of thousands of Afghans at risk from a deadly drought.

The UK aid package has been announced ahead of a two-day conference on Afghanistan in Geneva tomorrow.

The severe drought which has seen wells and rivers dry up comes against a background of three decades of conflict and poverty in Afghanistan.

According to the United Nations, an estimated 260,000 people have been displaced as a result of the drought that has hit western Afghanistan the hardest.

Agriculture is one of the main livelihoods, with millions relying on farming and livestock.

Afghanistan aerial
Afghans rely heavily on agriculture for their livelihoods ( Afghanistan aerial view credit BFBS)

Britain's Department for International Development has said the aid package will provide tents and urgent relief items for those who have been displaced.

More than 600,000 people will also be given food or cash transfers to buy essential items, alongside a monthly ration of special food to prevent malnutrition in young children.

Access to healthcare, clean water and sanitation will also be provided to those affected so they can remain in their homes over winter.

Speaking ahead of the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan tomorrow International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

"This deadly drought is already affecting millions of Afghans, many of whom have had to leave their homes and livelihoods in desperate search of basic necessities."

She said that UK aid will provide life-saving assistance to hundreds of thousands of Afghans but added:

"Others must step up alongside the UK, other donors must do more if we are to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe."

The UK is the second largest humanitarian donor in Afghanistan and has spent £67 million in the country so far this year.