United Nations: Millions of Afghans threatened with hunger

Status: 19.11.2021 4:44 p.m.

At least 18.8 million people in Afghanistan are unable to feed themselves, according to the UN. There could be even more at the end of the year. The UN is therefore calling for more financial support.

The United Nations (UN) World Food Organization (UN) warns of increasing food shortages in Afghanistan. A widespread drought, the severe economic crisis and the collapse of farms are driving more and more people into misery from which there is no escape, warned FAO Director General Qu Dongyu. “Millions of Afghans are living on the brink of a disaster that will occur when animals die or fields remain uncultivated.”

At least 18.8 million people in the country are already affected by acute food insecurity. That number of people who cannot feed themselves every day is expected to rise to 22.8 million by the end of the year.

More help for Afghan farmers called for

The FAO boss advocated more investment in farms in order to make Afghans less dependent on foreign aid. It is more and more urgent to support farmers and ranchers with seeds, fertilizers, cash and aids for livelihoods, said Dongyu. This was the only way to maintain agricultural production and prevent the widespread collapse of livelihoods in several parts of the country.

“We have to help Afghanistan avoid a hunger trap,” said Dongyu. According to the FAO, an aid package for growing wheat currently costs 157 US dollars. This enables a farming family to meet their grain needs for a year. On the other hand, it takes 1080 US dollars (956 euros) to meet the minimum food needs of an average family.

FAO calls for a good 175 million euros

The FAO urgently needs 115 million US dollars (102 million euros) to fund its programs in the coming winter and spring. In the course of 2022, the FAO will then need a further 85 million US dollars (75 million euros).

In August, the radical Islamist Taliban regained power in Afghanistan. While the foreign troops, including US and German units, withdrew, humanitarian workers from the UN and other organizations remained on the ground. After the Taliban came to power, international aid funds were frozen.

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