The latest: The World Food Program (WFP) in its latest report has stated that if funding for the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is not urgently received, its plan to aid 13 million Afghans will fall short drastically. WFP requires US$75 million to sustain operations as planned through April.
- WFP listed that in March, the organization and its partner institutions managed to reach 9.2 million people with emergency food, nutrition, and livelihood support.
- However, the situation will be very different in April as WFP will cut assistance to 4 million people due to severe funding constraints, to reach only 9 million people instead of 13 million planned for general food assistance.
- The organization had warned that if funds are not immediately received the situation in May will further deteriorate.
- “Between January and March 2023, WFP has assisted approximately 15 million people. Nearly 20 million people are projected to be acutely food-insecure between November 2022 and March 2023,” the report stated.
- The report added that four million people are acutely malnourished, including 3.2 million children under the age of 5 in the country and 28.3 million people – two-thirds of Afghanistan’s population – require multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance in 2023.
Why it matters? The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan has been declining steeply ever since December 2022, when the Taliban banned women from working for NGOs.
- This decision led to many aid agencies withdrawing their work from the country due to the lack of the presence of women aid distributors and absence of women in their supply chain. However, all 100 WFP partners are implementing activities currently and 82 are fully operational and 18 are partially operational. In total, female staff from 80 partners are engaged in activities across all 34 provinces.
- Nearly 20 million people in Afghanistan are acutely food-insecure, including more than 6.1 million people on the brink of famine-like conditions, according to preliminary projections for November 2022 to March 2023. Afghanistan is the fourth most at-risk country for humanitarian crises and disasters.
Zoom out: This comes even as in 2023, WFP requires US$2.2 billion to deliver emergency food, nutrition, and livelihood support to those in need in the country. It also urgently requires US$75 million to sustain operations as planned through April.
- WFP is currently facing a net funding shortfall of US$763 million to sustain operations over the next six months (April-September 2023).