Prospects for the upcoming winter in Afghanistan were bleak enough before Sept. 11, as years of drought destroyed crops and drove millions of people toward famine.

But with the United States-led coalition having destroyed the Taliban regime in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the United States, Afghans face even more dire straits, with many having fled their homes and any food stores they had. Starvation and freezing are real threats, the secretary general of a Japanese nongovernmental organization said.

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