IRIN: Where Afghan humanitarianism ends and development begins
Afghanistan suffers from cyclical natural disasters – floods and drought – which affect people annually and require expensive emergency responses, but their impacts could well be avoided, or at least mitigated, if proper water management systems or dams were built, for example.
Some farmers could switch from rain-fed wheat crops, which require a lot of water, to other crops, like grapes or almonds. But these kinds of transitions require long-term multi-year plans, inherently at odds with emergency responses, based on annual appeals for funding.
“Responding to eight droughts in 11 years makes no sense,” Michael Keating, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan, said recently. “There is something going wrong.”