Food insecurity and Hunger in Afghanistan

Updated at 2358 EAT on Sunday 06th Sunday 2022

Afghanistan is among the highest levels of food insecurity around the world. At least 37.7 million of its population of 40 million people – 93 percent – do not have enough food.

A record 23 million Afghans face acute hunger, with nearly 9 million a step away from famine, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

Children in Afaghanistan threatened by hunger. Courtesy photo

Two in five children (38 percent) under the age of five face chronic malnutrition – that is inadequate nutrition over a long period of time – which has led to stunted growth. Up to 1 million children under five are at risk of dying from malnutrition.

Since the August 15 Taliban takeover of Kabul, an already war-devastated economy once sustained by international donations alone is now on the verge of collapse.

Afghanistan rises to the top of Watchlist as the population increasingly cannot meet basic needs and the economy and public services collapse, despite the end of major conflict. Here’s what you need to know about the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

In August 2021, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), commonly known as the Taliban, took control of Afghanistan. This shift in power followed a major escalation in conflict between the IEA and government of Afghanistan over the course of 2021 and a U.S.-IEA deal that saw American forces depart the country rapidly.

The Taliban’s control of the country led international donors to immediately suspend most nonhumanitarian funding and freeze billions of dollars’ worth of assets. Without this funding, most health clinics have closed and the economy has spiraled downward (risking near-universal poverty) as the country confronts an ongoing drought and hunger crisis and possible fourth wave of COVID-19. Four decades of crisis have weakened the country’s ability to cope with new shocks. Afghans may increasingly resort to leaving the country if they cannot meet their needs inside Afghanistan.

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Updated by Musisi Yiga john

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