By Paul Homewood
CBS making it up as they go along!
Rural Afghanistan has been rocked by climate change. The past three decades have brought floods and drought that have destroyed crops and left people hungry. And the Taliban — likely without knowing climate change was the cause — has taken advantage of that pain.
While agriculture is a source of income for more than 60% of Afghans, more than 80% of conflicts in the country are linked to natural resources, according to a joint study by the World Food Programme, the United Nations Environment Program and Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency. In 2019, Afghanistan ranked sixth in the world for countries most impacted by climate change, according to the Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index.
Over the last 20 years, agriculture has ranged from 20 to 40% of Afghanistan’s GDP, according to the World Bank. The country is famous for its pomegranates, pine nuts, raisins and more. However, climate change has made farming increasingly difficult.
Whether from drought or flood-ravaged soil, farmers in the region struggle to maintain productive crops and livestock. When they cannot profitably farm, they’re forced to borrow funds to survive. When Afghans can’t pay off lenders, the Taliban often steps in to sow government resentment.
“If you’ve lost your crop and land or the Afghan government hasn’t paid enough attention [to you] then of course, the Taliban can come and exploit it,” said Kamal Alam, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center.
The Taliban has capitalized on the agricultural stress and distrust in government to recruit supporters. Alam said the group has the means to pay fighters more, $5-$10 per day, than what they can make farming.
“[Farmers] fall into choices. That’s when they become prey to people who would tell them, ‘Look, the government is screwing you over and this land should be productive. They’re not helping you. Come and join us; let’s topple this government,’” said Nadim Farajalla, director of the climate change and environment program at the American University of Beirut.
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via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
August 21, 2021