The United Nations Agency’s World Food Program sounds the alarm on the food crisis in Afghanistan
Millions of Afghans, including children, could starve if urgent measures are not taken to lift Afghanistan from the brink of collapse, a senior United Nations official warned, calling for the funds. frozen be released for humanitarian efforts.
World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley told Reuters that 22.8 million people – more than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million people – face acute food insecurity and ” were marching towards famine ”, up from 14 million just two months ago.
“The children are going to die. People are going to starve. Things will get worse,” he said in Dubai.
“I don’t know how you don’t have millions of people, and especially children, dying at the rate we are going with the lack of funding and the collapse of the economy.”
Afghanistan was plunged into crisis in August after Taliban fighters ousted a Western-backed government, prompting donors to withhold billions of dollars in aid from the aid-dependent economy.
The food crisis, exacerbated by climate change, was severe in Afghanistan even before the Taliban takeover, whose new administration was barred from accessing assets held abroad as nations grapple with how dealing with die-hard Islamists.
“What we expect is happening much faster than expected. Kabul has fallen faster than anyone expected and the economy is falling faster than that,” Beasley said.
He said that development aid dollars should be reallocated to humanitarian aid, which some countries have already done, or that frozen funds should be channeled through the agency.
“You have to unfreeze these funds so that people can survive.”
The United Nations food agency needs $ 220 million per month to partially feed the nearly 23 million vulnerable people as winter approaches.
Many Afghans sell goods to buy food, with the Taliban unable to pay civil servants’ salaries, and urban communities are facing food insecurity similar to rural areas for the first time.
WFP used its own resources to help cover food aid until December after some donors broke their promises, Beasley said, adding that with government funds already depleted, funds may have to be redirected aid efforts in other countries.
Aid groups urge countries, concerned about human rights under the Taliban, to engage with new leaders to prevent a collapse they say could trigger a migration crisis similar to the 2015 exodus from Syria that shook Europe.
“I don’t think world leaders realize what’s coming,” he said, listing several humanitarian crises in the Middle East, Africa and Central America.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)