Photo: UNICEF Afghanistan

6.3 million people will lack access to safe water if underfunding continues: OCHA

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned that 6.3 million people in Afghanistan will lack access to safe water should underfunding continue.

OCHA said in a post on X Monday that due to funding shortage, 4.3 million people would be without safe excretion disposal and 3.5 million more would not have access to hygiene, particularly women and children.

The UN agency stated that a severe funding gap has already hindered women and girls from receiving WASH supplies, including dignity kits, this year.

Moreover, 700,000 children have not received WASH assistance during treatment for malnutrition.

OCHA’s revised 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan requires $3.23 billion in funding to support millions of vulnerable people in Afghanistan. However, only 23% of the fund has been received so far.

Afghanistan is grappling with one of the worst droughts, food, and water shortage crises in decades, amid an unrivaled humanitarian catastrophe that looms large for millions of people across the country.

According to an OCHA report analyzing the drought disaster between 2021 and 2023, climate change and fatal droughts across Afghanistan have left 79% of its population without sufficient water for their daily needs, including drinking and cooking.