UN Forced to Reduce Food Assistance for 10 Million Afghans

by Ella

In a recent announcement, the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) revealed that, as of September, a staggering 10 million Afghans have lost access to essential food assistance this year. The dire situation has forced the organization to cut food aid to an additional 2 million people in Afghanistan this month alone.

This heartbreaking decision comes as a result of a substantial funding shortfall, leaving the WFP with no choice but to scale down its operations significantly. Going forward, the WFP will only be able to provide emergency assistance to approximately 3 million individuals each month, as detailed in their official statement.


Hsiao-Wei Lee, the Country Director and Representative of WFP in Afghanistan, expressed the gravity of the situation, saying, “Amid already worrying levels of hunger and malnutrition, we are obliged to choose between the hungry and the starving, leaving millions of families scrambling for their next meal.”


Lee further explained, “With the few resources we have left, we are not able to serve all those people teetering on the edge of utter destitution.” This situation has dire consequences, especially for Afghan women, who increasingly find themselves marginalized and facing limited options for both earning a livelihood and providing for their children, according to the WFP statement.


The devastating cuts in aid mean that 1.4 million new and expectant mothers, along with their children, are no longer receiving specialized food designed to prevent malnutrition, Lee noted.


To address this humanitarian crisis and continue their lifesaving efforts, the WFP urgently requires $1 billion in funding over the next six months, as outlined in their statement. Failure to secure this funding could lead to catastrophic consequences in Afghanistan, particularly for the most vulnerable women and children who have already been deeply affected by four decades of conflict, a crippled economy, and a worsening climate crisis, warns Lee.

As of August 2022, WFP estimated that over 36 million people in Afghanistan, constituting approximately 90% of the population, lacked access to sufficient food. This dire situation intensified following the Taliban’s takeover, prompting the United States and other countries to freeze an estimated $7 billion of the country’s foreign reserves.



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