The international aid pledged to Afghanistan is nowhere near enough to cope with growing hunger caused by drought and economic collapse following the Taliban takeover, a UN envoy told RT. food.
The country suffered from a severe drought and was affected by a “A massive and almost total economic implosion which has occurred during the last two months”, Richard Trenchard, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) envoy and director for Afghanistan, told RT.
Most foreign aid has been suspended after Afghanistan was quickly recaptured by the Taliban in an offensive in August that coincided with the final stage of the US troop withdrawal. The dire situation on the ground led to a “terrifying” humanitarian crisis, Trenchard said.
Today we are talking about 19 million people who are, as they say, in a situation of acute food insecurity. This means that they are hungry every day. And we haven’t seen the worst yet.
According to estimates by the FAO and the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), a record 22.8 million people, more than half of the Afghan population, will need food assistance next year.
Trenchard said the collapse of the country’s banking system left cash-strapped farmers without basic needs like seeds and fertilizers. The outlook is bleak, given that 70% of the Afghan population lives in rural areas and winters are generally severe there.
“We predict that by the end of the year, nine of the ten largest urban areas in Afghanistan will also face acute food insecurity,” the UN official said, adding that children remain the most vulnerable.
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Last month, the UN announced more than $ 1 billion in pledges to help Afghanistan. However, so far, only about $ 275 million of the pledged sum has gone to humanitarian agencies like FAO, WFP and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Trenchard explained.
“But, to be completely honest, it will only be a drop in the ocean. The situation is deteriorating so quickly and so dramatically ”, he said, calling for a “Massive increase” in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
Trenchard also said the international community must find ways to resume aid to Afghan hospitals and bring back other vital development aid that was cut after the Taliban takeover.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the Afghan economy could contract by up to 30% due to a mix of factors, including falling imports and rising inflation.
Afghanistan was first ruled by Taliban militants between 1996 and 2001. The group was expelled from Kabul and other major cities by a US-led invasion. The operation was part of Washington’s global campaign against Islamists in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks on American soil.
The Western occupation failed to bring peace and stability, as the Taliban insurgency raged for nearly two decades. Activists seized Kabul with little to no resistance on August 15, prompting UN-backed President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country.
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