Saturday, February 24, 2024

Afghanistan Tops Food Insecurity Among 136 Countries: ORF Report

Immigration News

Arif Ahmadi
Arif Ahmadihttps://www.khaama.com/
Arif Ahmadi holds a B.A. degree in Journalism. He works as an Editor & Content Writer for Khaama Press.

Kabul, Afghanistan – Afghanistan tops a high level of food insecurity among 136 countries, a report by Observer Research Foundation (ORF) shows, as the country continue to struggle with ongoing political instability.

In June, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned dozens of countries, including Afghanistan, of “looming widespread food crisis”.

“According to GHI 2022, South Asian countries reported the highest levels of stunting and wasting,” ORF said, as TOLOnews quoted.

“These trends are worrying for a region that is home to 600 million children and where over 33 percent of the population faces extreme poverty, a situation exacerbated by the pandemic.”

Justifying the cause of increasing hunger and food scarcity, doctors believe poor economy in a country could increase food insecurity amongst children due to its direct connection to body’s nutrition.

“Poor economic and social situation has affected children and has increased food insecurity because it has a direct connection with child nutrition,” said Mohammad Nasir Kazimi, a doctor, as local media quoted.

Sidiqa, mother of a child who faces malnutrition, said their situation is concerning due to the poor economy and lack of access to enough food.

“When my child was born, he was in the hospital for 20 days and now, we came back to the hospital and it has been one week since we are here,” said Sidiqa.

“It has been four months that my child has been sick. Doctors said that it is malnutrition and that treatment did not impact it,” said another mother of a malnourished child. 

According to local doctors at Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital, at least four children suffering from malnutrition are taken to the hospital on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Health said that nearly 2.8 million children and women have suffered from malnutrition in 2022.

“From the start of the year, 2.8 million children with moderate and severe malnutrition and nursing mothers were affected,” said Sharafat Zaman Amrkhil, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health.

Among Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are the countries that face food insecurity due to poor economic conditions among the people.

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In June, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned dozens of countries, including Afghanistan, of “looming widespread food crisis”, as the country continue to struggle with ongoing political instability.

“The ‘Hunger Hotspots – FAO-WFP early warnings on acute food insecurity’ report issued today calls for urgent humanitarian action in 20 ‘hunger hotspots’ where acute hunger is expected to worsen from June-September 2022 – to save lives and livelihoods, and prevent famine,” said WFP in a report.

The UN agency earlier said almost half of Afghanistan’s population is facing acute hunger and prolonged drought and a deep economic crisis that will threaten the livelihoods of millions of people across Afghanistan.

According to the May 2022 Hunger Hotspots report, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen remain at ‘highest alert’ as hotspots with catastrophic conditions, as ANI reported. Afghanistan and Somalia are new entries to this worrisome class since the previous hotspots report in January 2022.

“We are deeply concerned about the combined impacts of overlapping crises jeopardizing people’s ability to produce and access foods, pushing millions more into extreme levels of acute food insecurity,” said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.

“We are in a race against time to help farmers in the most affected countries, including by rapidly increasing potential food production and boosting their resilience in the face of challenges”. 

What We Know About Afghanistan Economy Since the Takeover

The ongoing political crisis since the takeover last August has “hit hard” private sectors in Afghanistan, where businesses were halted and put to uncertainty, according to a latest survey conducted by the World Bank.

Due to shortage in sells, private companies have laid off more than a half of their employees on average, a rising concern on unemployment rate in the country. 

“The majority of surveyed businesses reported a drastic decline in consumer demand for their products and services and have been forced to scale back operations, reduce investments, and lay off employees,” the report said.  

According to the survey, small enterprises have been hit hardest with about 38 percent of them seizing operation, comparing to a 25 percent among medium and 35 percent among large businesses in the country. 

The finding shows Afghan domestic inputs have become more expensive and yet difficult to obtain due to supplier closure and supply chain disruptions, which all lead to price inflation since the beginning of political uncertainty. 

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