Afghanistan

Afghanistan: WFP continues to deliver as winter and humanitarian crisis loom

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The harsh Afghan winter makes it impossible to deliver assistance in mountainous areas. © WFP

Agency needs US$200 million to continue providing life-saving assistance

24 August 2021, WFP Staff

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Guided by the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and operational independence, the World Food Programme (WFP) is continuing to serve the people of Afghanistan – a country where one in three are going hungry.

Due to the combined effects of drought and the coronavirus pandemic, on top of years of conflict, 14 million people are food insecure, including 2 million children who are malnourished.

The looming winter looks set to make things even harder for people in remote mountainous areas.

“Humanitarian catastrophe awaits the people of Afghanistan this winter unless the global community makes their lives a priority,” said WFP’s regional deputy director for Asia and the Pacific Anthea Webb at a briefing at the UN in Geneva today.

“Usually at this time of year, WFP is busy pre-positioning food stocks in warehouses and with communities across Afghanistan, to be then distributed to needy Afghan families before they are cut off by brutal winter snows,” she added.

This year, however, tight funding levels and escalating needs mean WFP could run out of its main supply – wheat flour – from October.

“We have only a few short weeks to secure the necessary donor funding and get food in place before mountain passes are blocked by snow,” Webb told the briefing.

“Humanitarian catastrophe awaits the people of Afghanistan this winter unless the global community makes their lives a priority,” said WFP’s regional deputy director for Asia and the Pacific Anthea Webb at a briefing at the UN in Geneva today.

“Usually at this time of year, WFP is busy pre-positioning food stocks in warehouses and with communities across Afghanistan, to be then distributed to needy Afghan families before they are cut off by brutal winter snows,” she added.

This year, however, tight funding levels and escalating needs mean WFP could run out of its main supply – wheat flour – from October.

“We have only a few short weeks to secure the necessary donor funding and get food in place before mountain passes are blocked by snow,” Webb told the briefing.

WFP urgently needs US$200 million to deliver life-saving assistance before it is too late.

Despite security and logistics challenges, WFP maintains access to most of the country including areas experiencing active fighting.

In the first six months of this year, WFP delivered food and nutrition assistance to 5.5 million people, including people newly displaced by fighting.

Despite immense challenges, WFP maintains access to most of the country. We are committed to continuing humanitarian operations, alongside our humanitarian partners, and assisting Afghan families at this critical time.

Learn more about WFP's work in Afghanistan