Half Of Afghan Population Facing Acute Food Crisis: UN

More than half of Afghanistan’s population – a record 22.8 million people – will face acute food crisis from November, according to a UN-partnered report.

The combined impacts of drought, conflict, COVID-19 and the economic crisis have severely affected lives, livelihoods, and people’s access to food, says the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report by the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster of Afghanistan, co-led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and the UN World Food Program.

The report’s findings come as Afghanistan’s harsh winter looms, and the country reeling under pressure by the militant Taliban regime.

The report has found that more than one in two Afghans will be facing crisis or emergency levels of acute food insecurity through the November-March lean season, requiring urgent humanitarian interventions to meet basic food needs, protect livelihoods and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

The report also notes that this is the highest number of acutely food insecure people ever recorded in the ten years the UN has been conducting IPC analyses in Afghanistan.

“It is urgent that we act efficiently and effectively to speed up and scale up our delivery in Afghanistan before winter cuts off a large part of the country, with millions of people – including farmers, women, young children and the elderly – going hungry in the freezing winter,” said QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General.

“Afghanistan is now among the world’s worst humanitarian crises – if not the worst – and food security has all but collapsed. This winter, millions of Afghans will be forced to choose between migration and starvation unless we can step up our life-saving assistance, and unless the economy can be resuscitated. We are on a countdown to catastrophe and if we don’t act now, we will have a total disaster on our hands,” said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director.

He called on the international community to come together to address this crisis, which is fast spinning out of control, with reports of children dying from hunger.

To meet the current scale of needs, the UN will need to mobilize resources worth $220 million per month, it is estimated.

Keeping the August 31 deadline, the U.S. military withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, marking the end of a 20-year presence of US forces in the war-torn country.

President Joe Biden admitted after that the U.S. mission of counterterrorism and nation building in Afghanistan did not return the intended results.

The Taliban takeover worsened an already weak Afghan economy that heavily depended on foreign aid. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Western powers suspended aid to the Afghan Government which already started implementing barbaric rules in the country.

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