Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Millions of Afghans will face starvation this winter unless urgent action is taken, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has warned.
More than half the population – about 22.8 million people – face acute food insecurity, while 3.2 million children under five could suffer acute malnutrition, the WFP said.
“Afghanistan is now among the world’s worst humanitarian crises, if not the worst,” said David Beasley, the executive director of the WFP.
“We are on a countdown to catastrophe.”
The WFP warned that the looming winter threatened to further isolate Afghans dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive. And for the first time in Afghanistan, urban residents are suffering from food insecurity at similar rates to rural communities, the organisation said.
“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, the director of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.
The food crisis in Afghanistan has been compounded by water shortages and a severe drought – the country’s second in four years.