Afghan ‘children are going to die’
Millions of Afghans, including children, could die of starvation unless urgent action is taken to pull Afghanistan back from the brink of collapse, a senior United Nations official warned, calling for frozen funds to be freed for humanitarian efforts.
World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley told Reuters that 22.8 million people - more than half of Afghanistan's 39 million population - were facing acute food insecurity and "marching to starvation" compared to 14 million just two months ago.
"Children are going to die. People are going to starve. Things are going to get a lot worse," he said in Dubai.
"I don't know how you don't have millions of people, and especially children, dying at the rate we are going with the lack of funding and the collapsing of the economy."
Afghanistan was plunged into crisis in August after Taliban fighters drove out a Western-backed government, prompting donors to hold back billions of dollars in assistance for the aid-dependent economy.
The food crisis, exacerbated by climate change, was dire in Afghanistan even before the takeover by the Taliban, whose new administration has been blocked from accessing assets held overseas as nations grapple with how to deal with the hardline Islamists.