Democracy Now! reports that some humanitarian groups have denounced the food packets the U.S. is air dropping into Afghanistan as a PR move. A spokesman for UK-based Muslim Aid says the air-dropped food is not effective on a humanitarian level. According to the Muslim Aid website, "Afghanistan has been suffering from a severe drought for the last four years. The disaster has now spread across 85% of the country, and people are facing extreme shortages of water, shelter, medicine and food. This winter an estimated 7.5 million Afghans will face starvation." An Oxfam spokesman told Democracy Now's Amy Goodman that air-dropping anything into Afghanistan is a bad idea given the approximately 10 million active land mines that are randomly scattered throughout the country and the risk that a person might be injured or killed while trying to get to the food. The BBC reports, "Aid agencies agree the amount of food aid entering the country is a fraction of what the population will need to survive winter." The UN World Food Program has suspended operations in Afghanistan and is unlikely to restart in the immediate future because of security concerns for its staff.
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