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Millions of families have almost no way to cope with another harsh winter. WFP is one of the last remaining barriers between Afghanistan and famine. WFP is working to preposition food in rugged and remote areas before the winter sets in and urgently needs US$ 172 million to do so. • Afghanistan is facing the most serious famine risk of the last two decades, with nearly 19 million people acutely hungry, of which 6 million are now teetering on the edge of famine (IPC4). These are unprecedented levels of hunger. Earlier this year we saw catastrophic levels of hunger (IPC5) in inaccessible areas of Ghor province, showing the urgent need to provide sustained humanitarian assistance year-round. • Having struggled through a year of unprecedented economic hardship and environmental disasters like earthquakes and flooding, vulnerable families are less prepared than ever to weather another harsh winter. Homes and fields have been destroyed, jobs and incomes vanished, people fell into debt and food prices on local markets skyrocketed; what little money families have buys less and less food. • WFP urgently requires US$ 172 million (of which USD 100 million are resourced) buy and move 150,000 mt of food – six times as much as last winter - to strategic locations across the country. This will allow WFP to support 2.2 million people for five months and help avert famine in remote areas like Ghor when hunger bites the hardest. If we fail to secure funding and preposition food before winter starts in October, people will fall into catastrophic levels of hunger.

WFP chief urges urgent funding to feed millions in Afghanistan

AT News

KABUL – Cindy McCain, the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), has issued a distressing call for aid as the organization grapples with a critical shortage of funds needed to provide essential assistance to millions of people in Afghanistan. Last week’s earthquakes in Herat have deepened the “unimaginable suffering” of people in the country.

On the occasion of World Food Day, WFP revealed that a staggering 15 million people in Afghanistan are uncertain about where their next meal will come from, representing a third of the population. The Herat Earthquake, which struck recently, has added to an already dire humanitarian crisis, requiring urgent support.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund in Afghanistan, has also raised concerns, stating that 318,000 people urgently require humanitarian assistance in the wake of the earthquake, with more than 76,000 being women and girls of reproductive age and over 7,400 currently pregnant. In response to this critical situation, UNFPA has mobilized its partners to provide maternal and newborn care in the affected communities, ensuring safe births.

Last week, two 6.3 magnitude earthquakes devastated large swathes of Herat province, leaving over 1,000 people dead and thousands homeless. On Sunday, another 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the same region, causing further damage.

Cindy McCain emphasized, “WFP is on the ground responding, but funds are stretched thin. We’ve already had to cut life-saving aid for 10 million Afghans, and a bitter winter approaches. We need help. Millions of lives are at risk.”

The situation in Afghanistan remains critical, and urgent funding and support are needed to prevent a worsening of the humanitarian crisis.

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