The United Nation World Food Program (WFP) has said the COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the number of people at risk of food insecurity in Afghanistan.
The WFP has said that at the beginning of this year, 12 million Afghans were affected by decades of conflicts, natural disasters and growing hunger and food insecurity. But since the outbreak of the COVID-19, millions more Afghans are now facing the threat of hunger, high food prices and limited employment opportunities.
The WFP said on Saturday (August 1st) that it was planning to provide food security to 1.3 million Afghans families this year.
The agency says it needs 218 million in US Dollars to arrange food for Afghans and so far it has received $135 million for this purpose.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has recently provided $12 million in aid, the WFP said. The agency added the fund donated by USAID will provide food aid to 95,000 Afghan families. The USAID officials in a statement said that the coronavirus has badly affected the lives of daily wagers and people associated with small businesses, especially those working in the cities who are unable to earn living to lockdown.
The WFP deputy chief of staff in Kabul, in a statement, praised USAID’s assistance, saying the USAID to further provide 53 million US dollars to help Afghans affected by the coronavirus. “Without working together, Afghanistan could face a food insecurity crisis,” He warned.
Nearly two weeks ago, the Afghan government announced a $244 million food distribution program called the ‘National dining table Program’ in two phases to reduce the economic impact of the Coronavirus epidemic. However, the Afghan parliament rejected the food distribution program by a majority vote due to concerns about possible fraud and corruption in the project. The Afghan government has requested the lower house to reconsider the decision and has assured parliament that it will address all concerns corruption.
As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WFP is leading global efforts to combat hunger, improve nutrition, raise living standards in rural populations, and contribute to economic growth. In its May report, the WFP has said More than seven million children in Afghanistan are at risk of hunger as food prices soar due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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