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More than half of Afghans are at risk because of food insecurity

 United Nations agencies warned Monday that Afghanistan is on the brink of one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, with more than half of the population facing "acute food insecurity".

The agencies reported that more than 22 million Afghans will suffer from food insecurity this winter, as climate change-driven drought exacerbates the difficulties caused by the Taliban's control of the country since mid-August.

Between immigration and famine

"This winter, millions of Afghans will be forced to choose between migration and starvation unless we can increase our life-saving aid," said David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme.

“Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis is currently among the worst in the world, if not the worst, food security has collapsed,” Beasley explained in a statement.

"Hunger is increasing and children are dying. We cannot feed people based on promises, pledges of funding must be converted into tangible cash," he said, stressing, "The international community must unite to deal with this crisis that is rapidly spiraling out of control."

persistent need

A statement issued by the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) also indicated that one in two Afghans faces a "level three crisis" or an "emergency" food shortage of "level four".

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said, "There is an urgent need to work efficiently and effectively to speed up and increase the delivery of (aid) to Afghanistan before winter cuts through a large part of the country, leaving millions of people starving and freezing -- farmers, women, children and the elderly. ".

It is noteworthy that the fourth level is a lower degree of famine, while officials told AFP that Afghanistan is facing its worst winter in a decade.

selling cattle

In the west of the country, thousands of poor families have sold their livestock and fled to seek shelter and assistance in overcrowded makeshift camps near major cities. On a visit to the provinces of Herat and Badghis, AFP reporters saw families forced to put their daughters into early marriage to pay off debts and secure enough food to survive.

In addition, UN agencies report that their current humanitarian response plan has received only a third of the funding it needs. "FAO" stated that it is seeking urgent financing of $11.4 million and an additional amount of $200 million for the 2022 agricultural season.

In light of fears of a possible influx of refugees from Afghanistan, donor countries pledged hundreds of millions of dollars, but they still avoid dealing with the Taliban directly.


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