More than half of Afghanistan’s population will go hungry as of November. The political conflict, droughts and the economic recession that the country is experiencing complicates access to food for almost 23 million people, according to a report published Monday by the UN-led Afghanistan Agriculture and Food Security Group.
Among those at risk are 3.2 million children under the age of five who are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition before the end of the year, says the report co-led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO ) and the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).
“Afghanistan is now among the worst humanitarian crises in the world, if not the worst. Food security has almost collapsed. This winter millions of Afghans will be forced to choose between migration and famine,” said the WFP Executive Director. , David Beasley.
In addition to the serious political situation, the weather is not good. Afghanistan’s harsh winter threatens to isolate areas of the country where families depend on humanitarian assistance to survive.
More than one in two Afghans will face acute food insecurity crisis or emergency levels from November 2021 to March 2022. Hence, “urgent humanitarian interventions are required 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 on record in the ten years the UN has been in Afghanistan, but also globally. This country is the one with the highest number of people in a situation of acute food insecurity, both in absolute and relative terms, according to this organization.
“Hunger increases and children die. We cannot feed people promises: funding commitments must be turned into cash and the international community must come together to address this crisis, which is rapidly spiraling out of control,” said David Beasley.
The report reflects a 37% increase in the number of Afghans suffering from acute hunger since the last assessment issued in April 2021 and for the first time, urban residents suffer from food insecurity at rates similar to those of rural communities, which it marks the changing face of hunger in the country.
The shortage of funds and the need for urgent action are of concern to these agencies. To meet the scale of needs, the UN will need to mobilize resources at unprecedented levels. They will increase humanitarian assistance in 2022 to $ 220 million a month. FAO is seeking $ 11.4 million in urgent funding for its humanitarian response and another $ 200 million for the agricultural season through 2022.