Ground Report | New Delhi: Humanitarian alert in Afghanistan; Have you ever looked aThe World Food Program ( WFP ) launched a global warning to warn about the “desperate” humanitarian situation that Afghanistan is experiencing. The warlike and social conflict caused by the Taliban advance in the country, as international troops withdraw, is joined by a health and food crisis caused by the lack of water and the severe drought in Afghanistan.
About 40% of crops have been lost to drought in the second massive water shortage in three years, further exacerbating food insecurity. The international body warns that one in three Afghans, or 14 million people, is hungry today and two million malnourished children need urgent treatment.
Humanitarian alert in Afghanistan
Meanwhile, since the beginning of the year, conflict and violence against the population of 32.2 million people have driven more than 550,000 Afghans from their homes, further increasing water insecurity by one of the countries most punished in this matter.
According to the Human Development Index of the country, more than half of the population, some 17 million people, do not have the possibility of accessing drinking water. The data for the battered capital, Kabul, is no better; It is estimated that 70% of the city’s population (six million inhabitants) lack safe access to water in their homes and use wells drilled without any sanitary control.
Afghanistan is the third country in the world with the highest infant mortality rate among those under five years of age, with 161 deaths per 1,000 births; 23% of these deaths are linked to contaminated water and lack of efficient sanitation. Furthermore, 54% of children between 6 and 48 months are alarmingly stunted and more than 67% have symptoms of malnutrition.
The shortage situation has increased as the cost of food continues to rise, according to the WFP regional director, John Aylieff. “The price of wheat has risen 25% in recent months and, therefore, with the economic situation … and with the upheaval in which the country has gotten, it is now very difficult to see the future of this population … a future with food security… without malnourished children, ”he said.
Help on the way
This month, WFP plans to reach nearly 500,000 people in and around Mazar, Afghanistan’s fourth-largest city, with wheat flour, oil, lentils, and salt.
“ There are no crops, there is no rain, there is no water and people are living in misery, ” said Delawar, a 52-year-old Afghan, adding that WFP assistance is “a great mercy from God” that “really helps people. poor and needy ”.
However, as the UN agency will run out of wheat flour in October, it requires immediate funds upfront to support the millions who depend on it to deliver food. Furthermore, once the withdrawal of international troops is complete as of August 31, it is not known whether the humanitarian aid will be able to continue.
“This is Afghanistan’s hour of greatest need and we need the international community to step forward and support them,” WFP stressed. As thousands of people try to leave the Kabul airport, WFP reported that relatively few have sought refuge in neighboring countries.
“We have plans to help if they cross land borders,” the UN agency said, noting that if donors want to avoid large outflows of refugees, it is “imperative” that WFP’s food operations within the country are not disrupted.
The UN agency described existing financing needs in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Tajikistan as the most urgent, saying it needs $ 200 million for Afghanistan and $ 22 million for neighboring countries.