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Nearly 3 million in Afghanistan face food shortages due to drought.
In the country's northern regions, which are entering a third year of delayed rains, many food crops have failed, with the UN World Food Program stating that an estimated 2.8 million people as of December 2011 are facing hunger. Research by the US-based Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting has found that temperatures
have been rising in the region since the 1960s, accompanied by a growing frequency of cyclical droughts.

Meanwhile, water supplies, which flow down from the mountainous Hindu Kush region, have diminished from an average 1,540 million cubic meters annually to just 640 million this year.

With the current conditions expected to worsen as winter sets in, many people have begun selling their belongings, with some who are leaving their homes to move toward major cities in efforts to survive.

Based on appeals by the United Nations, countries such as the US, Canada and European Union member states have begun responding to the crisis, with US$49 million in humanitarian aid that has arrived thus far.

With gratefulness to all countries, organizations and individuals seeking to assist the Afghan people, we send our heartfelt prayers for concerted actions to halt climate change.

May all regions facing such uncertainties soon be restored to the balance of lives in harmony with nature. During a June 2011 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai expressed concern as on previous occasions about the related issues of climate change and food insecurity, highlighting at the same time
the ideal way to address both through compassionate plant-based fare.

Supreme Master Ching Hai : So, you see, climate change affects us in many different ways, not just the heat, the drought, the flood, the disease, food shortage, etc., but even the cold. And climate change – through droughts and floods that destroy crops – is, of course, a major cause of high food price and food insecurity. So just this one change, simple change, small change: changing our diet to an organic vegan diet. This will help all the governments of the world to afford climate change mitigation and preserve biodiversity.

It will also help us protect food security and conserve water. What is the use for us to satisfy our taste right now with meat when we know for certain that in the future our children will go hungry,our world will collapse? What is the use of that? However tasty the meat is,we have to consider this option and change it
so that the world can continue to survive and thrive in abundance and happiness and health.

Extra News
As Central American countries attempt to recover from intense rains that have cost at least US$2 billion in damages, El Salvadorian President Mauricio Funes inaugurates a climate change summit on December 16, 2011 to address these impacts while calling for collaborative efforts from the entire international community.

A December 13, 2011 article in the daily Oklahoma, USA newspaper Tulsa World states that a late winter freeze combined with only two-thirds the normal amount of rain this year has led to forecasts that the state's pecan harvests could be reduced by 75% compared to last year.

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