KABUL – In the midst of a dire humanitarian crisis, the United Nations has issued a stark warning about a significant funding gap to provide vital humanitarian aid to over 21 million people in Afghanistan, with some relief efforts already being scaled back.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has highlighted the critical funding shortfall. In its website, UNOCHA has said the appeal for $3.2 billion to assist millions across Afghanistan remains woefully underfunded, with less than a quarter of the required sum secured.
We face critical funding gaps amounting to 1.3 billion US dollars, with many programs already ended or considerably scaled back due to insufficient resources and aid pipelines at risk of imminent rupture, including for food assistance, OCHA said.
“We only have a short window of opportunity to procure and position vital assistance and supplies before the lean season and winter begin,” OCHA said.
The urgency of the situation was also echoed by representatives in a recent United Nations Security Council High-level debate last week, where nations called for swift and substantive aid provision to address the escalating humanitarian plight.
“With humanitarian needs at an all-time high due to the third consecutive year of drought-like conditions, worsening poverty and heightened vulnerabilities following forty years of conflict, only a short window of opportunity exists to bring in vital assistance and supplies before the lean season and winter starts, and lives are potentially lost,” the statement added.
Earlier, the UK Parliament had informed that the humanitarian aid given to Afghanistan by the Official Development Assistance (ODA) has been reduced by 59 per cent.