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Saturday, October 06, 2001

Administrator of the Agency for International Development Andrew Natsios:
Briefing on U.S. Assistance to Afghan Refugees
A quarter of the children in Afghanistan will die before they are five years old. It has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. It has the lowest per person caloric intake in the world. And it has the highest number of amputees in the world, per capita.

So the human misery index is there already at a terrible level. So people are weakened. There has been four years of drought, 22 years of civil war. They are not in good shape. They are very tough people, but to go through four years of drought where the crops fail one year after another makes them extremely vulnerable to what now is happening.
The United States has contributed more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people since 1979, more than any other country.

The United States has supplied more than 80 percent of all food shipments sent to vulnerable Afghans through the United Nations' World Food Program, and will continue to be the leading food donor to the Afghan people.

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