Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – An estimated 3.2 million Afghan children under five, are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year, UN agencies warned on Tuesday, adding that without immediate treatment, at least a million are at risk of dying.
Acute food insecurity is affecting 14 million people in Afghanistan who are without reliable access to water, food and basic health and nutrition services, following years of conflict and the economic crisis, which has been exacerbated following the Taliban takeover in August.
The alarm was sounded following a two-day visit to the city of Herat by Hervé Ludovic De Lys, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Afghanistan and Mary-Ellen McGroarty, World Food Programme’s (WFP) Afghanistan Representative and Country Director.
“As more families struggle to put food on the table, the nutritional health of mothers and their children is getting worse by the day,” said Mr. De Lys.
“Children are getting sicker and their families are less and less able to get them the treatment they need. Rapidly spreading outbreaks of measles and acute watery diarrhoea will only exacerbate the situation.”
“We have huge concerns about the desperate choices families are being forced to take,” said Ms. McGroarty. “Unless we intervene now, malnutrition will only become more severe. The international community must release the funds they pledged weeks ago, or the impact could be irreversible.”