Funding shortfall forces WFP to cut assistance in Afghanistan

The World Food Program (WFP) has announced that due to funding constraints, it will reduce assistance to Afghanistan. This move is expected to result in four million people receiving only half of what they need to get by in March.

In a statement on Friday, WFP in Afghanistan appealed for immediate funding for its operation to help the millions in need to prevent hunger from spreading throughout the country. 

“WFP urgently needs $ 93 million to assist 13 million people in April and $800 million for the next six months. Although donors gave record amounts in 2022, since November last year WFP had been warning that funds would run out just as the lean season is reaching its peak in March and April,” the UN food agency said. 

“The cuts come at a time when already vulnerable Afghans are just emerging from yet another freezing winter. Sub-zero temperatures combined with economic distress has pushed millions into despair.” the agency added.

The organization added that Afghanistan is facing the highest risk of famine in a quarter of a century, with nearly 20 million Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from. 

The WFP further stressed that levels of moderate acute malnutrition are the highest ever recorded in the country, and two-thirds of the population (more than 28M) need humanitarian assistance in 2023, almost triple than in 2021.

According to WFP, in 2022, the agency supported 23 million people in Afghanistan, distributing more than 1 million metric tons of food and $326 million in cash or voucher to help families survive.