Antonio Guterres: Gender equality fundamental to achieving zero hunger

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a tweet on Saturday that gender equality is a fundamental element to realizing a zero-hunger world while worsening economic and humanitarian crises batter millions in Afghanistan.

“When women and girls have better access to resources, decision-making, and education, the result is increased food security for not only themselves but also their families and their communities,” The UN chief tweeted.

“Gender equality is a must if we want to achieve a zero-hunger world.”

However, reports show that acute hunger and poverty continue to stem people in Afghanistan, girls and women are particularly at risk as they remain excluded and marginalized.

Since the seizure of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the country’s devastated economy, primarily delivered by international aid under the previous government, is on the brink of collapse. The group’s widespread ban on women’s and girls’ education, employment, and freedom of movement has severely restricted women to generate income.

According to the statistics provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), about 28.3 million people need humanitarian and protection assistance, and about 6 million people will be on the verge of food insecurity and starvation. More than 4 million children and women will face malnutrition across the country in 2023.

The UN humanitarian organization has stated that out of 28.3 million people who need rescue assistance, humanitarian partners have considered and prioritized helping 23.7 million people.

OCHA said that it would alone require $4.63 billion to deliver amid the agency’s struggle to figure out how to secure humanitarian aid from international partners.