The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Friday that Afghanistan is becoming the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with millions of people teetering on the brink of poverty and starvation.
The IFRC said it needs $82 million in support to stem spiraling hunger across Afghanistan as more than half of the population are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.
“Amidst mounting poverty, 70 percent of households are unable to meet basic food and non-food needs, with particularly devastating effects for homes headed by widows, the elderly, people with disabilities, and children,” IFRC said in a statement.
An estimated three million children are at risk of malnutrition and susceptible to diseases such as acute watery diarrhea and measles due to weakened immunity.
“This is one of the worst humanitarian crises I have seen in Afghanistan, in more than 30 years as a humanitarian aid worker,” said Dr Mohammad Nabi Burhan, Secretary General of Afghan Red Crescent.
Burhan said that it is horrifying to see the extent of hunger and resurgence of poverty.
IFRC’s Head of Delegation for Afghanistan, Necephor Mghendi said that increasing economic hardship is a bitter blow for families in Afghanistan who are trying to cope with one of the worst droughts and food crises.
Mghendi said that despite immediate humanitarian support, there is also a need for investment in local institutions to enable people to restore means of earning an income.
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