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Devastating Floods Worsen Food Insecurity in Afghanistan, Warns WFP

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – The World Food Programme (WFP) warns that the devastating floods in northern Afghanistan are likely to worsen in the coming months, posing a severe threat to the country’s food security.

In a statement on Tuesday, May 21, the WFP said that recent floods in northern Afghanistan have affected 80,000 people, exacerbating an already critical food insecurity situation.

Afghanistan has been grappling with incessant heavy rains and flooding in recent weeks, resulting in the deaths and injuries of dozens of people in many provinces. It has also claimed the lives of thousands of livestock and caused significant financial losses for the already impoverished population.

The country is among the most vulnerable ones against natural disasters, including floods, earthquakes, avalanches, landslides and drought. It is also among the poorest in the world, burdened by decades of war, prone to natural disasters, and susceptible to extreme weather events associated with climate change.

The natural disasters have exacerbated Afghanistan’s existing challenges, including economic collapse and widespread food insecurity. According to the UN, 23.7 million people, including 12.4 million children, in the country require humanitarian aid this year.

The recent destructive flash floods in northern Afghanistan, notably in Baghlan, Ghor, Takhar, Faryab, and Badakhshan provinces, have inflicted widespread devastation. These floods, triggered by unusually heavy seasonal rains, have claimed the lives of at least 300 people and ravaged over 1,000 homes, compounding the financial woes of an already struggling population.

The UN and numerous aid organizations have mobilized resources to provide emergency assistance. However, the local population expresses concern about the lack of essential aid and their continued suffering days after the crisis began.

In response to the recent natural crisis, the UN food agency says that it has made an appeal for an additional $14.5 million to support emergency food and nutrition assistance, alongside resilience-building projects.

“With one disaster after another hitting these communities, they’re being pushed back into destitution. Recent improvements in food security in Afghanistan now risk being lost,” said Hsiao-Wei Lee, WFP Afghanistan’s Country Director.

“These families need emergency assistance to survive, and in the longer term, they need investments in community infrastructure that help protect their homes, lands and livelihoods.”

“WFP is investing in climate adaptation projects designed and built by communities to shield them from the impacts of the climate crisis. These include protective walls, dams and irrigation canals. During the Baghlan flood, a WFP-supported protection wall safeguarded 670 families and 400 acres of agricultural land,” the UN agency said.