Afghanistan: Food Security – Suffering & Hunger Spiraling out of Control- Press Conference

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United Nations published this video item, entitled “Afghanistan: Food Security – Suffering & Hunger Spiraling out of Control- Press Conference” – below is their description.

Press Conference by Mary-Ellen McGroarty, World Food Programme Representative and Country Director in Afghanistan, on the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) for Afghanistan.

The World Food Programme’s (WFP) Country Director for Afghanistan. Mary-Ellen McGroarty, today (26 Oct) said, “there is tsunami of destitution, incredible suffering, and hunger spiraling out of control across Afghanistan.”

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis published on 25 October, 18.8 million people, or 47 percent of the population have acute food insecurity, a 24 percent increase from March.

McGroarty said, “the numbers released yesterday for Afghanistan are devastating. Almost 19 million people suffering acute food insecurity today, that’s almost half of the population. That number will increase to an absolutely frightening number of 22.8 million. Almost 23 million people in the next weeks as the winter and the lean season grip the country. 8.7 million are in what we term emergency levels of food insecurity, one step away from starvation.”

The WFP official said, “the people of Afghanistan are facing a winter of absolute horror and suffering. The damage will be irreversible for the millions of children that will fall sick because of hunger and malnutrition. Many, many innocent Afghans are at the risk of dying this winter alone. Tragically these numbers confirm that not only is Afghanistan becoming the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, but also these numbers encapsulate the pace and scale of the crisis so rapidly unfolding in recent weeks. A pace and scale I have not witnessed in my 20 plus years at WFP.”

Responding to a journalist’s question she said, “we made a plea as part of that Geneva conference for 200 million to get us to the end of the year. I want to thank the donors who stepped up. We received 100 million of that, but we are still 100 million short to get us towards the end of the year. However, going into 2022, we are going to need over 2.8 billion dollars, over 200 million a month, just to provide a reduced food basket for the 23 million people.”

27 out of 34 provinces are seeing acute malnutrition rising above emergency thresholds. This translates to 3.9 million people in need of malnutrition treatment in 2021, including 1 million children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), 2.2 million children under five from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM), and 0.7 million pregnant and breastfeeding women from acute malnutrition.

Prices are also skyrocketing in the country, pushing food out of reach for millions of cash-strapped Afghans. Since 15 August, wheat has seen a 28 percent increase, while the price of fuel has doubled.

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