WFP requires $400 million to combat ‘impending humanitarian crisis’ in Afghanistan

The World Food Program (WFP) announced Sunday a need for $400 million to prepare food and aid for vulnerable populations in Afghanistan before winter isolates communities with snow and ice.

The organization highlighted the urgency as winter looms, potentially severing access to many areas. This announcement follows an October warning by WFP about a significant budget shortfall forcing cuts to nutrition assistance for one million mothers and children in Afghanistan.

“Winter is just weeks away, which will cut off entire communities,” WFP stated.

The WFP also indicated that women are disproportionately affected, with limited options for livelihood. In September, the organization reported the reduction of aid to two million people, bringing the total to 10 million Afghans deprived of essential aid in 2023.

Despite the dire situation, foreign donors have reduced humanitarian funding for Afghanistan, influenced by the Taliban’s rule and other global crises, such as in Ukraine.

Aid groups stress that women and children are particularly vulnerable in the current crisis, compounded by Afghanistan’s faltering economy.

WFP Afghanistan has urgently appealed to donors for support ahead of the challenging winter season.

The WFP reported that globally, over 40 million people in 51 countries face emergency-level hunger, with 15 million of these in Afghanistan.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs notes that over 29 million Afghans need urgent humanitarian assistance.

Afghanistan’s economy has suffered considerably in the past two years since the Taliban takeover. Following the collapse of the previous government, $9.5 billion in foreign reserves were frozen, with the U.S. holding $7 billion of this amount. Additionally, international financial support ceased as the Taliban failed to meet specified criteria.