Anticipation of a military strike on Afghanistan has prompted massive internal displacement of the population from urban areas. As of 27 September, with many heading for the closed borders, a humanitarian crisis is rapidly escalating. Afghanistan is the poorest country in Asia. Even before the terrorist attacks on the USA on 11 September, it faced a winter of severe food shortages, leaving five million people at risk. This was caused by a combination of three years of successively worsening drought, and the continuing war between the Taliban and opposition United Front, based in the north. According to the UN, the figure of those needing assistance could rise to 7.5 million if the worst predictions are realized.
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