Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable

Afghanistan: UN agencies warn more than half of Afghans face 'acute' food crisis

The crisis is already bigger in scale than that facing Yemen or Syria, and worse than any food insecurity emergency apart from the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials told AFP.
 

Afghanistan UN agencies warn more than half of Afghans face 'acute' food crisis-dnm
Author
Kabul, First Published Oct 25, 2021, 2:33 PM IST
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Whatsapp

The UN agencies on Monday warned the already unstable country facing one of the world's worst humanitarian crises that more than 22 million Afghans will suffer "acute food insecurity" this winter.

"This winter, millions of Afghans will be forced to choose between migration and starvation unless we can step up our life-saving assistance," said David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme.

The crisis is already bigger in scale than that facing Yemen or Syria, and worse than any food insecurity emergency apart from the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials told AFP.

"Afghanistan is now among the world's worst humanitarian crises -- if not the worst -- and food security has all but collapsed," Beasley said in a statement.

"We are on a countdown to catastrophe and if we don't act now, we will have a total disaster on our hands."

According to the statement issued by the World Food Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, one in two Afghans faces Phase 3 "crisis" or Phase 4 "emergency" food shortages.

Phase 4 is one step below a famine, and officials told AFP that Afghanistan -- already struggling to emerge from a 20-year civil war -- is facing its worst winter in a decade.

Afghanistan’s Taliban government launched a program to tackle hunger on Sunday, offering thousands of people wheat in exchange for labour.

The scheme will be rolled out around Afghanistan’s major towns and cities and employ 40,000 men in the capital alone, the Taliban’s chief spokesman said at a press conference in southern Kabul.

Also read: ‘In our hands, COVID pandemic will end when the world chooses to end it’: WHO chief Dr Tedros

In August, the Taliban overthrew the US-backed regime and declared an interim government, vowing to restore stability.

But the Taliban still face a range of international sanctions and a campaign of bloody attacks by rival hardliners the Islamic State -- while climate change has made Afghanistan's droughts more frequent and intense.

In the west of the country, thousands of poor families have already sold their flocks and fled, seeking shelter and assistance in packed temporary camps near major cities, AFP reported.

Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios