Dushanbe, 16 October 2001 (RFE/RL) -- The United Nations' World Food Program appealed today for urgent aid to 1 million residents of Tajikistan who are suffering from a prolonged drought. Ardag Megdessiyan, the program's representative in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, said Tajikistan had received far less support from WFP donors than neighboring Afghanistan. Both countries have been severely affected by the drought.
Megdessiyan said Tajikistan needs 1 million tons of grain annually to meet its population's needs. But this year, the country has harvested barely one-third of that amount.