Meanwhile, the disastrous consequences of three consecutive years of drought continue to be felt in all sectors of the economy. A recent UN inter-agency report released in July estimated that about 90 percent of the population (urban, rural, and nomadic) have been severely affected. The shortage of water in rivers and the rapidly falling water tables have resulted in an acute scarcity of drinking water in both rural and urban areas. Large sections of the rural population and their livestock in the affected provinces have started migrating to other areas in search of water. An estimated 200 000 nomadic livestock owners are reported to have lost their only source of livelihood.
Tentative production figures for 2001 indicate a wheat output of 7.5 million tonnes compared to the past five-year average of 9.7 million tonnes. Production of barley, maize and paddy is also forecast to be below average.