Afghanistan is a dry, landlocked nation made up mostly of rugged mountains that run northeast to southwest and divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country. Bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, it also shares a tiny strip of land with China. Because of its cold winters and hot summers, nearly all of Afghanistan’s supply of natural fresh water begins as snow. This limited supply, however, has been severely depleted because of a four year drought from 1998–2002. Drought and the added thirst of two million returning refugees has left nearly 80 percent of Afghanistan’s population without access to safe drinking water.1 The drought has also affected Afghanistan’s struggling farm and livestock (mostly sheep and goats) production. The country is highly dependent upon foreign aid to meet its most basic needs such as food and medical care.



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