Photo: WFP Afghanistan

WFP drops 10 million people from food aid in Afghanistan due to underfunding

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has cut off millions of at-risk people from food assistance in Afghanistan due to severe funding shortfalls.

The massive funding gap, WFP said, forced the organization in Afghanistan to drop 10 million people from life-saving assistance this year, deepening despair among people.

In the following months, WFP would be able to provide emergency assistance to only 1 in 5 hungry people in Afghanistan—about 3 million people while millions more will remain vulnerable to hunger crisis.

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

“Amid already worrying levels of hunger and malnutrition, we are obliged to choose between the hungry and the starving, leaving millions of families scrambling for their next meal,” said Hsiao-Wei Lee, WFP’s Country Director and Representative in Afghanistan.

“With the few resources we have left, we are not able to serve all those people teetering on the edge of utter destitution.”

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.

According to WFP, at least US$1 billion is required to keep the alarming hunger and malnutrition rates from increasing in the upcoming months. This includes funding to pre-position food for communities that will become cut off during the coming winter

A report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that 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.