WFP assisted over 15 million people, but many could go hungry as funding dries up

The World Food Programme (WFP) in Afghanistan has reached more than 15 million people suffering from acute food insecurity since the beginning of this year but fears millions could go hungry as funding dries up.

WFP said in a report on June 25 that the agency’s food assistance helped 15.3 million people believed to be acutely food-insecure since 2023, including 2.8 million people in need of emergency.

However, it has cut 8 million from its emergency food assistance program since April due to funding shortfalls.

At least $1.2 billion is required to keep the alarming malnutrition and hunger rates from increasing in the upcoming months, WFP stated in the report.

“Hunger is primarily driven by the economic crisis that has gripped Afghanistan since August 2021, compounded by decades of conflict, climate shocks, and severe restrictions on the rights of women and girls to work and pursue higher education.” The report highlighted.

Moreover, the WFP estimates a 30-35 percent wheat deficit by the end of this year as a result of consecutive drought and an ongoing locust outbreak, which threatens to destroy a quarter of this year’s wheat harvest, worth $480 million.

In June, the WFP Deputy Executive Director Carl Skau visited Afghanistan on several occasions to engage with key stakeholders and advocate for urgent resources to meet critical funding gaps.

Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, two-thirds of Afghanistan’s population, 28.8 million people, require urgent humanitarian assistance, including 3.2 million people who are left acutely malnourished.