Asia - Pacific

14M people facing severe hunger in Afghanistan: UN official

Drought, advance of Taliban, impact of COVID-19 pushes country into 'catastrophe', says head of WFP in Afghanistan

Dilan Pamuk   | 19.08.2021
14M people facing severe hunger in Afghanistan: UN official

ANKARA

Some 14 million people in Afghanistan are at risk of severe hunger, the head of the UN food agency in the country said.

In a video message, Mary-Ellen McGroarty, World Food Program's (WFP) director in Afghanistan, said: "A humanitarian crisis today of incredible proportions is unfolding before our eyes."

Amidst the "already-dire situation" in Afghanistan, the conflict is combined with drought and the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, pushing the country into a "catastrophe," she remarked.

Recalling that over 40% of the crops in the country were lost and stockbreeding was adversely affected by the drought, McGroarty said hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced across the nation as the Taliban took over the country.

“We need $200 million to be able to get food into the country now – to get it out into the communities before the winter sets in,” she said.

WFP delivered aid to four million people in May and expects to reach nine million in the months to come, McGroarty added.

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