UN humanitarian agencies expect more than half of Afghanistan’s population – a record 22.8 million people – to face food insecurity as of November.
According to the United Nations Information Center, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification report released today by the Afghan Food Security and Agriculture Cluster, under the joint leadership of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program – showed that more than one in two Afghans will face the level of crisis (Phase 3). ) or emergency (phase 4) levels of acute food insecurity during November-March 2022.
“It is imperative that we act efficiently and effectively to accelerate and scale up our work in Afghanistan before winter cuts off much of the country, where millions of people are suffering – including farmers, women, young children and the elderly,” said Qu Dongyu, Director-General of FAO. “From starvation during the harsh winter. It is a matter of life and death. We cannot wait and see humanitarian disasters unfold before us – this is unacceptable.”
For his part, said the Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, that Afghanistan is currently among the worst humanitarian crises in the world – if not the worst.
“Food security has almost collapsed. During this winter, millions of Afghans will be forced to choose between migration and starvation unless we can increase our life-saving aid, and unless the economy is revived. We are counting down toward catastrophe. If we do not act now, we will be in for a disaster.” all levels”.
This October, the World Food Program and UNICEF warned that one million children risked dying from severe acute malnutrition if urgent, life-saving treatment was not provided. For the first time, urban populations are experiencing food insecurity at rates similar to rural communities, which indicates the changing face of hunger in the country. Rampant unemployment and a liquidity crunch indicate that all major urban centers are expected to experience emergency levels of food insecurity (phase 4), including the formerly middle-class population.
It is noteworthy that 7.3 million people depend on agriculture and livestock for survival, and the severe impact of the second drought in four years continues to affect their livelihoods.
“Hunger is rising and children are losing their lives,” Beasley warned. “People cannot be fed with promises – funding commitments must be turned into real cash, and the international community must come together to address these crises that will quickly spiral out of control.”
According to international organizations, urgent humanitarian interventions are required to meet food needs, protect livelihoods and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. To meet the scale of the needs, the United Nations will need to mobilize resources at unprecedented levels. The UN humanitarian response plan is still only one third funded.
The World Food Program plans to provide food, cash and nutrition assistance to 23 million people in Afghanistan, and the program may need $220 million per month to meet its mission.
FAO is seeking emergency funding of $11.4 million for its humanitarian response and is seeking an additional $200 million for the agricultural season until 2022 due to the worsening drought.