Hell Freezes Over

In drought-dried Afghanistan, more than a million people may face starvation or death in the high-plains cold. Tim McGirk reports from Herat

Do we stay or leave? It was a question Hawaneen, a hollow-cheeked Afghan with a wispy beard, had debated with his elders for many weeks, while the famine--the worst in 30 years--tightened its grip on the village. Would they stand a better chance of survival if they remained? Or should they wander elsewhere until they found help? After a three-year drought, every village well had run dry, and the goats and sheep had died. Finally Hawaneen decided it was time to go; he had fed his family the last grains of wheat he had intended to plant this spring if the...

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