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In Afghanistan’s Unforgiving Terrain, Bracing Communities for Natural Disasters

Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

By Peter Doyle, Asia Desk Officer, Concern Worldwide

Peter Doyle with Muhammad Niaz

Travelling through Afghanistan’s spectacularly scenic mountainous northern region, it was immediately evident to me how vulnerable this area is to natural disasters.  The steep mountains have been badly deforested and the soil constantly eroded, stripping what should be fertile agriculture land of its nutrients and leaving the communities that call this unforgiving terrain home at constant risk of flooding and landslides.

Last year was particularly tough—a severe drought was followed one of the harshest winters in recent times. This led to avalanches and later in spring, as the snow melted and rains came, severe flooding.  Yet despite all this, people live here, clinging to the edge and at mercy to Mother Nature.

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World Humanitarian Day 2009 – Chad

Posted on Thursday, August 13th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Currently, Chad is hosting some 268,000 Sudanese and 74,000 CAR refugees and attacks by armed militias and rebels, inter-ethnic violence and tensions over land access have led to the internal displacement of more than 170,000 Chadians.

Aid agencies are trying to provide assistance to as many people as possible according to key humanitarian principles, such as impartiality, independence and neutrality.

But access to the affected populations can be very difficult and even dangerous for humanitarian workers. Just recently two humanitarian workers were kidnapped in the border town of Adé and so far only one has been released. Last year, the head of an international NGO was shot dead while travelling in eastern Chad. Read the rest of this entry »

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