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Issue 14 Editorial

This issue of Field Exchange contains a guest editorial on Afghanistan by Mark Myatt who worked in Badhakshan and Takhar provinces in Northeast Afghanistan in the period leading up to the current conflict. With the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan unfolding day by day Mark has chosen to focus on intervention needs when the military and security situation has eventually stabilised. If, as seems likely, there will then be need for a large scale aid programme along the lines of the recent Balkan intervention, Mark asserts that the judicious use of food aid could have a significant role in achieving the wider aims of such an intervention. This will necessitate modifying the types of food aid programme that have been implemented by humanitarian agencies in the period leading up to the 11th of September.

Mark is also a co-author with Steve Collins and Gwenola Desplats of an article on the nutrition and food security situation in Badakshan Province, NE Afghanistan. Based on a survey carried out in August 2001 Mark et al show how successive years of drought and increasingly drastic survival strategies have bought the population to a point of destitution and imminent famine. The authors caution that donors should not be misled into thinking that everything is OK given low levels of malnutrition recorded at the time of the survey. These findings mirror those in an article by Fitsum Assefa published in the previous Field Exchange which showed that low levels of wasting recorded in April 2000 were masking an outbreak of scurvy and significant erosion of livelihoods in the southern part of Faryab province in Afghanistan.

Other articles in Field Exchange 14 cover topics as diverse as the efforts of the Nairobi based Food Security Assessment Unit to strengthen nutritional surveillance in Somalia and the work of AAH to bolster nutrition and food security in Tajikistan following civil war and the collapse of the Soviet system of agriculture. Enjoy! (Ed)

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Issue 14 Editorial. Field Exchange 14, November 2001. p1. www.ennonline.net/fex/14/fromtheeditor

(ENN_3536)

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