UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffithstold the United Nations Security Council that six million people were at risk of famine in Afghanistan.
Conflict, poverty, climate shocks and food insecurity “have long been a sad reality” in Afghanistan, but he said what makes the current situation “so critical” is the halt to large-scale development aid. He urged donors to restore funding for development in Afghanistan that was frozen when the Taliban took over a year ago.
“Poverty is deepening, the population is still growing, and the de facto authorities have no budget to invest in their own future. It’s clear to us that some development support needs to be restarted,” Griffiths said.
More than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million people need humanitarian help and six million are at risk of famine. More than a million children are “estimated to be suffering from the most severe, life-threatening form of malnutrition” and could die without proper treatment, he said. With more than 70 percent of Afghans living in rural areas, Griffiths warned that if agriculture and livestock production are not protected “millions of lives and livelihoods will be risked, and the country’s capacity to produce food imperilled.”