Photo: WFP Afghanistan

WFP cuts 8 million vulnerable people from aid due to funding shortfall

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) had to cut 8 million food-insecure people from receiving assistance across Afghanistan due to a funding shortfall.

A recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the critical funding gaps would threaten urgent humanitarian assistance across the country, particularly the remote regions. Women and children remain particularly amid the Taliban’s mounting restrictions.

WFP has reported that from July onwards, only 5 million people will receive emergency food assistance and 15 million more people will remain vulnerable to hunger crisis.

This means that 1.4 million new and expecting mothers, toddlers, and preschoolers are no longer receiving foods designed to prevent malnutrition.

In addition to food insecurity, the funding shortage has caused 25 mobile health and nutrition teams to shut down in the Nuristan, Kunar, Laghman, and Nangarhar provinces, depriving more than 100,000 people of access to basic health and nutrition care services.

The funding deficiency will further leave more than 31,500 households with severely malnourished children out on critical integrated cash packages for nutrition.

The education sector also faces the potential discontinuation of approximately 2,800 community-based classes, impacting 83,000 children, 59% of whom are girls being deprived of receiving an education beyond sixth grade as a result of a series of repressive bans by the Taliban.

Moreover, approximately 2.6 million people now lack access to safe drinking water, 1.5 million are missing out on hygiene promotion, 1.6 million lack essential nonfood items, and 844,000 are exposed to poor sanitation.

Since the beginning of this year, WFP has provided food assistance to 15.3 million people believed to be acutely food-insecure, including 2.8 million people in need of emergency. However, WFP has warned that the agency’s budget for food aid will end by the end of October if funding gaps are not met.

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