Kabul, 15 May 2022 (TDI): According to Save the Children, 9.6 million children in Afghanistan go hungry every day. This is due to an unsafe combination of economic collapse, the effects of Ukraine’s war, and persistent drought.
To save lives in the short term, immediate food aid is required. However, according to Save the Children, help alone is insufficient to address the country’s worst-ever famine crisis.
“Despite a significant amount of food aid reaching families in recent months, 19.7 million children and adults, almost 50 percent of the population, are still going hungry and need urgent support to survive,” said the report.
The report further revealed that 20,000 people were forced into starvation from March to May. When the Taliban seized power in August of last year, the international community reacted by freezing assets and halting development aid.
This was done to reduce the possibility of indirectly funding the real Taliban government. Children in Afghanistan are now feeling the burden of Western policies.
These policies have depleted the country’s financial reserves and pushed the economy into a spiral. As a result, poverty, unemployment, and food costs have all increased sharply. As a result, parents have been forced to use extreme means to feed their children.
Save the Children’s Director of Advocacy, Communications, and Media, Athena Rayburn, said, “Every single day our front-line health workers are treating children who are wasting away in front of our eyes because they’re only eating bread once a day – and those are the lucky ones,”
“Children in Afghanistan have never known a life without conflict and if action is not taken soon, they will not know a world without gnawing hunger and empty stomachs,” she added.
Although 18.9 million children and adults are projected to need food aid from June to November this year, there is only enough funding to provide support for 3.2 million people.
With the world’s attention diverted to Ukraine, there is waning hope of addressing this crisis in time. Each day that passes without the funds needed sees more children lose their lives to preventable causes.
The international community must address both the gap in funds and Afghanistan’s economic collapse by identifying ways to increase liquidity in the country’s economy. Until the economic crisis is addressed; and rising poverty stemmed, children, will continue to face catastrophic levels of hunger. Aid alone cannot save their lives.