While the World Food Programme (WFP) urgently needs US$1.1 billion to continue supplying them with monthly food and nutritional support for the upcoming six months, millions of Afghan families lack the resources necessary to cope with another cold winter.
The country is now facing its greatest risk of famine in 20 years, according to a statement released by the WFP on Monday, September 26. The country’s economy has withered and development assistance and assets are still mostly frozen.
The country has seen jobs disappear, and the economic collapse and climate shocks exacerbate the already precarious food security. It is estimated that the needed $1.1 billion will help nearly 18 million families experiencing food insecurity throughout the winter.
Farmers are still suffering from one of the country’s worst droughts in decades, and their shrunken harvests are increasing the already alarmingly high levels of hunger. According to the statement, middle-class and urban households are now also affected by food insecurity and hunger.
A decrease in hostilities, according to the statement, has been one of the few positive aspects of the last year, making it easier for humanitarian workers to reach isolated, vulnerable areas.
The funds, if received on time, allow the WFP to pre-position food in remote difficult areas as winter renders many towns inaccessible. This will reduce the risk of food insecurity and allow for timely aid distribution.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA), $4.4 billion in financial resources have been requested this year to assist 22 million people in Afghanistan; however, only 43% of this request has been fulfilled after nine months.
With the installation of the Taliban to power last year, foreign aid has dwindled, significantly contributing to poverty and hunger across Afghanistan.