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French contribution helps WFP respond to mounting humanitarian needs in Afghanistan

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KABUL -- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a EUR 25.5 million contribution from the Government of France towards its operations in Afghanistan, where half of the population is facing hunger and in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

"This funding could not come at a more critical time," said WFP Afghanistan's Country Director and Representative, Mary-Ellen McGroarty.

"With a staggering 22.8 million people facing acute food insecurity across the country, the number of Afghan people turning to WFP for help has never been so great. We are immensely grateful to the French government and their commitment to saving Afghan lives," she added.

Fuelling Afghanistan's hunger crisis is a spiralling economic crisis that comes on top of years of conflict, severe drought, and the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, that had already left millions destitute. Cash shortages, jobs losses, and unpaid salaries have pushed millions into destitution, following a rapid pause on international aid and the freeze of the country's overseas assets.

The generous French funding will enable WFP to provide school meals to 188,000 girls and boys in more than 420 schools where malnutrition and school drop-out rates are high, and nutrition services to 106,000 children and 54,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers at high risk of malnutrition. It will also go towards prepositioning of food stocks -- essential as the coming winter is likely to cut off parts of the country, and the towards the WFP-led United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) that on behalf of the entire humanitarian community.

Since the beginning of this year, WFP has reached 12.4 million people with food and nutrition assistance in Afghanistan - three million more than in all of 2020. In 2022, WFP plans to reach 24 million people and could require US$ 220 million per month to keep its lifesaving operations going.

"All countries around the world need to step up and continue their generosity towards the people of Afghanistan," McGroarty adds. "Without the international community mobilising together, more children will slip into hunger if not starvation. But we must act now."

Contact Shelley Thakral, WFP/Kabul, Whatsapp. +91 630 992 7371

Marie Dasylva, WFP/Dakar, Tel. +211 775 839 802

Kun Li, WFP/Bangkok, Tel. +66 845 558 994

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world's largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.

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