The European Commission announced Tuesday that it will send additional aid to Afghanistan to help drought victims in need of food for themselves and their animals before winter snows block roads in the nation already weakened by war.
The commission said it would release euro1.5 million ($2 million) to those suffering from the drought, which was caused by light snow and rainfall last winter and spring across northern Afghanistan.
That brings the total commission response to the Afghan drought to euro4.5 million, or about $6.1 million _ money that is expected to help about 72,000 people.
"The drought is heavily impacting on communities in many parts of northern Afghanistan which have been repeatedly weakened by conflict, insecurity and underdevelopment," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
"Already it is estimated that around 2.8 million people have been impacted. It is highly probable that the crisis will worsen before the 2012 harvest so Europe is acting to provide further relief and preparedness to help the Afghans through this additional disaster."
Separately, two NATO service members were killed in southern Afghanistan where foreign forces are trying to hold territory they gained after routing insurgents from their strongholds, the coalition said Tuesday.
One service member died in an insurgent attack and the other was killed in a roadside bombing. No other details were disclosed about the deaths, which occurred on Monday.
According to an Associated Press tally, 512 international troops have been killed so far this year in Afghanistan. At least 382 of those killed were Americans.
In eastern Afghanistan, a roadside bomb killed four civilians Tuesday in Alingar district of Laghman province, said provincial spokesman Faizanullah Patan. Two men, one woman and a child were killed in the explosion and two adults were seriously wounded, he said.