This document provides a weekly overview of developments in Afghanistan from 18 January—24 January 2012, with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to events in Afghanistan, contact the members of the Afghanistan Team, or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org
The New York Times reports the number of polio cases in Afghanistan tripled between 2010 and 2011 despite intensive efforts over the past several years to eradicate the highly contagious disease. Last year, 25 cases were reported, thus leading experts to conclude that efforts to eradicate polio were working. Last year’s figure of 76 reported cases has raised concern among experts, given that each reported case is believed to be an indicator of hundreds of “silent” cases, particularly among children. Heavy snowfall across Afghanistan has resulted in 20 deaths thus far this winter, according to an 18 January Reuters article. Agriculture experts believe that the snowfall, while dangerous and making it difficult for some communities in the North to access food and humanitarian supplies, will help the country’s water table to rise. In 2011, for instance, 80% of the country’s non-irrigated wheat crop was lost to drought. For further information on this topic, see the forthcoming CFC report on “Drought and Food Insecurity in Afghanistan”.