Six million Afghans at risk of famine: UN official

by IANS |

Kabul, Aug 30 (IANS) A top UN official has warned that 6 million Afghans are at risk of famine as the war-torn country continues to face extreme hardship and uncertainty under the Taliban regime.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths made the remarksat a UN Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, reports dpa news agency.

More than half of the country's population needs humanitarian assistance, Griffiths said.

With the Taliban's return to power on August 2021, the country's situation has further deteriorated. Unemployment and extreme poverty have forced tens of thousands of Afghans to flee their country.

In addition, a devastating earthquake and flash floods have compounded the situation.

The international community is pumping roughly $40 million into the country's economy each week.

But there are complaints that the Taliban is allocating the majority of the money to its supporters.

"Poverty is deepening, the population is still growing, and the de facto authorities have no budget to invest in their own future," Griffiths said.

He said the UN urgently needs $600 million to support preparation for winter, such as upgrades and repairs to shelter, warm clothes, and blankets, and an additional $154 million for food and livelihood assistance.

According to the Human Rights Watch (HRW), more than 90 per cent of Afghans have been suffering from some form of food insecurity since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, skipping meals or whole days of eating and engaging in extreme coping mechanisms to pay for food, including sending children to work.

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