Millions of Afghans facing starvation by end of year: AFP

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GBNEWS24DESK//

The United Nations World Food Programme has warned that millions of people face starvation in Afghanistan unless there is a massive scale up in the humanitarian response by the international community, report agencies.

The head of the World Food Programme in Afghanistan said that hospitals are filling up with malnourished children as limited food, high food prices and high fuel prices are devastating the population.

Mary Ellen McGroarty said people are desperate and there are reports of some parents selling their children to try to put food on the table.

“It’s devastating what is happening, desperate people take desperate measures.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ms McGroarty said that 19 million people are one step away from severe hunger and this is set to rise to 22.8 million people in the coming weeks as the winter sets in.

The World Food Programme hopes to reach 14 million people with its food trucks by the end of the year and is scaling up its efforts to get food into the country.

She said: “We need to do much, much more…we need a massive, massive scale up in the humanitarian response to prevent a complete catastrophe in Afghanistan”.

Ms McGroarty said that “it’s going to cost over $200 million a month to do the minimum we need to be doing now to avert a catastrophe”.

She explained that the suspension of international on-budget support and the freezing of assets has caused a cash liquidity crisis, with people losing jobs and their access to food and fuel.

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