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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Afghanistan: Nowhere to go

About 200,000 refugees find shelter at Mashlak Camp near Hert, Afghanistan.

It seems fitting that the camp neighbors Afghanistan's Dashte-e-Mango--the Desert of Death. Many have already died from hunger.

Refugees began arriving at relief camps here and in Pakistan more than a year ago, fleeing withered crops, wells run dry and an ongoing, internal war. Tens of thousands of refugees fled their homes in fear of U.S. attacks that began Oct. 7 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. At presstime, hundreds were crossing illegally into Pakistan daily.

ELCA International Disaster Response gave an initial $150,000 to help the more than 2 million people, mostly women and children, in desperate need of food. Lutheran World Relief sent an initial $161,500. Relief workers estimate that it will take years for those displaced to regain their livelihood.


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