WFP faces budget shortfall in assisting flood victims in Afghanistan

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) announced on Thursday that it lacks the budget to support tens of thousands of people affected by recent floods in Afghanistan.

Two months ago, massive flooding struck nearly half of the country’s provinces, killing hundreds of people and destroying thousands of homes and livelihoods. The disaster hit communities already struggling to survive.

“Two months ago, Afghanistan was hit by devastating floods that killed hundreds of people and destroyed thousands of homes. WFP has been assisting those affected from the beginning with life-saving aid. Our key issue now is how we continue to help those people when we don’t have enough funds to do so for the remainder of the year,” said Tim Anderson, Head of Programme for WFP Afghanistan.

According to the WFP, within hours of the floods, the organization provided families with fortified biscuits and children with specialized nutritious foods to prevent malnutrition. Working with local bakeries, WFP distributed bread in hard-hit communities, and within three days, families received food or cash sufficient to feed a family for one month.

Currently, nearly 125,000 people are receiving a second monthly ration. Most of this emergency assistance is directed to communities in Baghlan, Faryab, Ghor, Kunar, Laghman, and Nangarhar, where the floods had the most devastating impact.

These floods are a symptom of the worsening climate crisis. Increasingly erratic weather patterns have become the norm across the country and are likely to intensify in the coming months, significantly impacting food security, according to the WFP.

The WFP is currently using its available resources to respond to this emergency amid an already massive funding crisis. While emergency assistance is crucial for these communities, longer-term investments are needed to help families recover and become self-sufficient in the face of the climate crisis. The WFP stated that it needs more than $600 million to maintain its operations for the next six months.