According to the UN, Afghanistan is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe: more than half of the country is affected by an “acute” food shortage, said the Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley.
“This winter, millions of Afghans will be forced to choose between migration and hunger if we cannot step up our life-saving aid.” The supply of 22 million people in the coming winter is insecure.
“One of the worst humanitarian crises”
The food shortage has already reached greater proportions than the food shortages in Yemen and Syria. “Afghanistan is now one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world – if not the worst – the food supply has nearly collapsed,” added Beasley. “If we don’t act now, we will experience total disaster.”
According to the World Food Program and the UN food organization FAO, every second Afghan is in a “food crisis” of level three or even a “emergency” of level four. The FAO classifies food shortages into five categories, with level five representing famine.
Taliban: wheat in return for “hard work”
The militant Islamist Taliban announced an employment program over the weekend to reduce unemployment and hunger. As Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said at a press conference today, thousands of unemployed people will take part in employment measures and receive wheat in return.
“This is an important step in the fight against unemployment,” said the spokesman. However, the participants would have to “work hard”. They shouldn’t get any money.
Afghanistan is heavily dependent on foreign aid, which has been scaled back sharply since the Taliban came to power in August. The country is also struggling with a drought, an economic crisis and power outages.