Millions in Afghanistan face dire food insecurity amid funding crisis, warns WFP

The World Food Program (WFP) has issued a stark warning, revealing that over 15 million people in Afghanistan are currently grappling with severe food insecurity.

The organization highlighted that unless the critical issue of insufficient funding is addressed promptly, essential food aid for those in need will be significantly reduced.

Wahidullah Amani, the WFP spokesperson in Afghanistan, expressed deep concern, explaining that since April of this year, the organization has faced a funding shortfall, resulting in the suspension of aid delivery to five million vulnerable individuals in Afghanistan.

Urgently appealing to the international community, the WFP implores for financial support to be swiftly extended to sustain their operations in Afghanistan before the arrival of winter.

Amani emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating: “From the beginning of the year until now, the WFP could have provided food assistance to sixteen million people, including eight million women. Our aim was to continue these programs over the next six months, ensuring aid reaches needy families throughout Afghanistan, including remote areas that will soon be cut off by heavy snowfall. We require one billion dollars immediately.”

Abdul Shakur, a resident of Herat province and owner of a grocery store, reflected the hardships faced by many.

With dwindling sales, compounded by the recent return of the Taliban, he, like thousands of others, is desperately seeking assistance. Renting his home, Shakur confronts a grave economic crisis, struggling to make ends meet.

“I am 45 years old, without a job or business anymore. I have no savings, no safety net. I have four or five dependents,” Shakur lamented.

The World Food Program has urgently called on the international community to contribute $1 billion to enable the continuation of their crucial aid programs in Afghanistan. Due to limited resources, the organization has been compelled to reduce the amount of assistance provided from 13 million tons to 8 million tons.

Siyar Quraishi, an analyst specializing in economic affairs, underscored the severity of the situation, stating: “In the present circumstances, 28 million people require immediate humanitarian aid in 2023 for survival. This transforms Afghanistan into one of the world’s most acute humanitarian crises, with food insecurity reaching alarming levels.”

According to a World Bank report, Afghanistan’s GDP plummeted by over $5 billion following the Taliban’s return to power, leading to a decline in per capita income from five hundred dollars to less than 350 dollars for each citizen of the country.