Funding drought compels UN food agency to cut rations in Afghanistan
A lack of funds forced life-saving assistance for at least four million Afghans to be cut in March, according to the United Nations (UN) food agency. A World Food Programme (WFP) appeal has been made seeking urgent funding for its operations in Afghanistan, where families have been battling crisis after crisis, including growing hunger, since the Taliban took over in 2021.
Afghanistan could suffer a catastrophic hunger epidemic, and hundreds of thousands more people will require assistance to survive unless humanitarian assistance is sustained. In March, at least four million people will receive just half of what they need to survive. Traditionally, this is a difficult time for rural families since food stocks are running low before the next harvest in May.
As Afghans emerge from yet another freezing winter, the cuts come at a vulnerable time. The combination of sub-zero temperatures and economic distress has left millions despondent, according to the agency. The World Food Program urgently needs $93 million in April and $800 million over the next six months to help 13 million people. Even though donors gave record amounts in 2022, WFP has warned that funds will run out just as the lean season peaks in March and April.