18.4m Afghans require life saving assitance: UN

KABUL (Tolo News): United Nations and Humanitarian partners in Afghanistan need 1.3 billion to assist 16 million Afghans who are in need of life-saving assistance. Afghanistan has been affected by decades of conflict, COVID-19, and natural disasters.

UN stated, that the number of people targeted for assistance is more than the 2.3 million beneficiaries targeted four years ago. Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, the children in Afghanistan are living in worrying situations. “It is projected that nearly one in two children under the age of five will face acute malnutrition this year,” Dujarric said.

Dujarric added hunger is soaring in the country as Afghans have lost their livelihoods in 2021 nearly half of Afghanistan will need humanitarian assistance to survive. UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicated that 18.4 million people are in need of assistance in Afghanistan, following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. “While enduringly resilient, people are increasingly desperate, resorting to debt and other more dangerous coping mechanisms to survive including marrying off their young daughters and sending their children to work,” said Parvathy Ramaswami, Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan.

15.7 million of the population are extremely vulnerable and their survival depends on humanitarian aids. Ramaswami despite the bleak situation in the country said there is “still cause for hope” with the start of peace negotiations, adding that “After enduring decades of war, people are mentally exhausted and hungry for peace, yearning for an end to civilian deaths and suffering”. Permanent ceasefire and persistent reduction in violence will support the assessment of the situation, especially in far rural areas.

“Until this much hoped for peace becomes a reality, the humanitarian community stands beside the people of Afghanistan during what surely must be one of the country’s difficult periods,” the UN official added, stressing “we all must do more, stretch higher, and do better to deliver life-saving assistance to those who need it most”.