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Britain gives $6M to fight Afghan hunger

March 9, 2008 at 1:51 PM

LONDON, March 9 (UPI) -- The British government says it will send more than $6 million to Afghanistan to help fight rampant food shortages in the troubled country.

International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said his country's funds should help prevent a humanitarian crisis from occurring in Afghanistan, the BBC reported Sunday.

The British food aid appears to be in response to a joint United Nations and Afghan government appeal for more than $80 million in aid from the international community.

Alexander told the BBC the food shortages in Afghanistan were, in part, due to the rising cost of wheat and other food items worldwide.

"Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, and least able to cope with spiraling food prices combined with severe winter weather," he said.

"Providing an immediate safety net will help avoid a humanitarian crisis and end the immediate suffering."

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