WFP Warns of Hunger Pandemic in Northern Afghanistan

About 60 percent of the people in the north of Afghanistan are currently facing famine. By the next two months, however, hunger will reach 70 percent.

As winter approaches, warnings of increasing hunger and poverty in the country have increased. In a recent poll, the World Food Program (WFP) put the rate of hunger in northern Afghanistan at 60 percent, saying it would rise to 70 percent in the next two months.

World Food Program officials say they plan to distribute food and cash to about five million people in the country’s northern provinces over the next six months. The recent unrest in the country has caused many people to lose their jobs. War, unemployment, drought, and other challenges have left 60 percent of the population of northern Afghanistan below the poverty line. Food program officials are now warning that the figure will rise to 70 percent in the next two months.

“About 60 percent of the people in the north are currently facing famine, and by the next two months, hunger will reach 70 percent,” said Najibullah Rahmani, head of the WFP in the north. The aid organization says it plans to provide food and cash to five million people in the north of Afghanistan.

“Over the next six months, we plan to provide aid for about five million people,” said the WFP official in the north. “Our aids will include flour, oil, slabs, and salt. Many families will be helped with cash.”

Meanwhile, some people who have benefited from these aids say that they are going through a thousand and one challenges, and these aids are not enough for them. They are urging the Taliban to take action to lower food prices and provide jobs.

“We are a family of eight,” said a 60-year-old man from Mazar-e-Sharif who has benefited from the WFP aid in the north. “I have two boys. This is our life, it has to be spent anyway, with a lot of difficulties and poverty. With this help, our situation may improve a little for a month, but we do not know what to do after that. I’m old, I cannot work. My children are small, they are sick, there is also no work in the market.”

“I call on the Taliban to bring peace so that people can have bread and water,” said the old man. “Unemployment and poverty have plagued the people. No matter how strange it may seem, if people find the money for four loaves of bread, there will no longer be a problem.”

Bibi Khadija is 55 years old and came to Mazar-e-Sharif from the Chahar Bolak district of Balkh province about seven months ago due to war and insecurity. “I’m hungry, I have no supporter,” says Khadija. “I have six children, one of whom is cripple and unable to work. We have come here from Chahar Bolak. War and insecurity forced us to move here. Now that war is over, hunger will certainly kill us. We have no one but God to help us.”

However, the WFP is urging the international community to address the humanitarian crisis in northern Afghanistan by providing humanitarian aid. According to the WFP, the situation of the people of the north will get worse during the cold of winter.

Famine and job loss are major concerns for families. The World Food Program (WFP) in the North has several programs, one of which is emergency assistance. The organization covers families affected by natural disasters, displaced by the war and families without access to food.

According to Mr. Rahmani, the organization helped about 918,000 people in dire need in September, and about 1,000 people in need are currently covered by the organization’s food and cash assistance. “Last month, we were able to help about 918,000 families in need, based on the resources available, and now we are helping 1,000 families,” Mr. Rahmani said. “We plan to reach 1.3 million people; Because the need is high in the north. We plan to help 2.5 to 2.7 million people in November and December.”

Meanwhile, the United States and the Taliban have agreed to cooperate in the delivery of humanitarian aid. Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem at the Taliban’s political office in Doha said on Monday (October 11) that the US has pledged that it would facilitate humanitarian assistance to charities. According to him, the talks concluded that humanitarian aid should not be stopped due to political issues. The Taliban said they were working with charities to ensure the transparency of aid to Afghanistan.

Shekiba Sayeedi, Hasht-e Subh Persian

 

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