Level of foreign aid is mere ‘drop in the ocean’ as Afghanistan endures ‘terrifying’ and worsening hunger, UN official tells RT  

A UN representative for food said that the promise of international aid to Afghanistan was not enough to meet the increasing hunger sparked after drought and economic collapse by Taliban rule.

This country was suffering severe drought, and it was also hit by severe flooding. “massive, almost total economic implosion that’s occurred in the last two months,” Richard Trenchard, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) envoy and director for Afghanistan, told RT.

After the Taliban quickly retook Afghanistan in August’s offensive, which coincided with the last stage of US troop withdrawal, most foreign aid was suspended. The dire situation on the ground has led to a “terrifying” humanitarian crisis, Trenchard said.

Today we’re talking about 19 million people who are, as we say, acutely food insecure. That means they’re experiencing hunger on a daily basis. And we haven’t seen the worst yet.

According to the estimates by FAO and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), a record of 22.8 million people, or more than a half of Afghanistan’s population, will require food assistance next year.

Trenchard said the collapse of the country’s banking system has left cash-strapped farmers without basic needs like seeds and fertilizer. The outlook is grim, given that 70% of Afghanistan’s population lives in rural areas and winters there are typically severe.

“We’re projecting that, by the end of the year, nine out of ten of Afghanistan’s largest urban areas will be also facing acute food insecurity,”According to the UN official, children continue to be the most vulnerable.

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The UN pledged more than $1Billion to Afghanistan aid last month. However, so far only around $275 million of the promised sum has been delivered to humanitarian agencies like FAO, WFP and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Trenchard explained.

“But, to be quite honest, it’s only going to be a drop in the ocean. The situation is deteriorating so quickly and so dramatically,”He called for “a” “massive increase”Afghanistan will receive humanitarian assistance.

Trenchard also said the international community must find ways to resume helping Afghanistan’s hospitals and bring back other vital development assistance that was cut after the Taliban takeover.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), warned last week that Afghanistan’s economy may shrink up to 30% because of a combination of factors including rising inflation and falling imports.

The Taliban militants ruled Afghanistan for the first times between 1996-2001. A US-led invasion expelled the Taliban militants from Kabul, and other cities. The operation was part of Washington’s global campaign against Islamists in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on American soil.

As the Taliban insurgency raged for almost two decades, it was impossible to achieve peace and stability under Western occupation. On August 15, the militants took Kabul without resistance, prompting President Ashraf Ghani (UN-backed) to flee. 

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