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Afghan women at risk of losing vital aid, says WFP

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KABUL – In the wake of significant budget cuts to the World Food Programme (WFP) in Afghanistan, the organization has sounded an alarm, warning that Afghan women are teetering on the edge of losing their crucial lifeline.

In a tweet posted on Tuesday, the WFP revealed that these budget reductions will result in the loss of nutritional assistance for one million women and their children. An official from WFP’s Emergency Division in Afghanistan expressed deep concern, stating, “Women are facing daily exclusion from social life, with dwindling opportunities for livelihood and proper nutrition for their children.”

Prior to this development, Carl Skau, the Deputy Executive Director of WFP, had announced plans for an urgent funding appeal, with a specific focus on Afghanistan. This initiative aims to avert a potential humanitarian catastrophe during the upcoming winter in the country. Skau shared his intentions before a high-level meeting hosted by the European Commission in Brussels, saying, “I am currently in Brussels for a critical meeting on Afghanistan, gathering partners and donors, graciously hosted by the European Commission.”

The primary objective of this meeting is to devise a comprehensive plan and strategy to provide support to the Afghan population during the harsh winter ahead. Recent financial constraints have forced WFP to scale back its essential humanitarian activities in Afghanistan, despite the challenging operational conditions. Skau stressed the organization’s unwavering commitment, stating, “The operational conditions are challenging, but we are committed to delivering assistance in a principled and effective manner.”

Simultaneously, the WFP underscores the urgent need for one billion dollars to meet the needs of vulnerable populations during the impending harsh winter. This plea for increased funding comes at a time when 15 million people in Afghanistan are grappling with uncertainty about where their next meal will come from.

A United Nations report paints a grim picture, revealing that 97% of the Afghan population lives below the poverty line, with the number of individuals requiring humanitarian aid steadily rising. The World Food Programme’s concerns about budget shortfalls highlight the critical need to address this unfolding crisis.

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