UN warns of ‘urgent imperative’ to avoid acute Afghan food insecurity 

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The unfolding concern has caused significant disruption and threatens Afghanistan’s captious wintertime wheat season, which is astir to begin, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned, up of a large fundraising conference which is slated to instrumentality spot successful Geneva connected 13 September. 

Farmers cultivate potatoes successful  Bamyan, Afghanistan. Without urgent support, farmers and pastoralists could suffer  their livelihoods and beryllium  forced to permission  agrarian  areas

Farmers cultivate potatoes successful Bamyan, Afghanistan. Without urgent support, farmers and pastoralists could suffer their livelihoods and beryllium forced to permission agrarian areas, by ADB/Jawad Jalali

“One successful 3 Afghans are acutely nutrient insecure, a concern that is melodramatic by immoderate agelong of the imagination,” said FAO Director of the Office of Emergencies and Resilience, Rein Paulsen, speaking from Islamabad. 

Emphasizing the dire concern successful the country, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Jens Laerke, warned that “basic services successful Afghanistan are collapsing and nutrient and different lifesaving assistance is astir to tally out”. 

A ‘very abbreviated window’ 

Mr. Paulsen noted that determination volition apt beryllium a “25 per cent shortage connected the nationalist wheat harvest this year”. Half of the mean Afghan’s regular calorific intake comes from wheat, and astir of the supply grown successful the state is sourced to the upcoming rainfed wintertime season, the FAO adept said, adding that determination was “an urgent imperative towards the extremity of September”. 

“We request to marque definite that that planting is starting. There's a precise abbreviated model of clip to beryllium capable to code that. The seeds can't wait. The farmers can't wait. We request to bash everything we tin to guarantee that those susceptible households are supported”. 

Threats to agrarian livelihoods 

In summation to nutrient insecurity, Mr. Paulsen noted that 70 per cent of each Afghans unrecorded successful agrarian areas, and agriculture provides livelihoods benefits to 80 per cent of the population. 

Threats to agrarian livelihoods person been a increasing interest for FAO for months, helium said. Without urgent support, farmers and pastoralists could suffer their livelihoods and beryllium forced to permission agrarian areas, adding unit to supplies successful towns and cities as they go internally displaced. 

As of August 2021, FAO has provided livelihood and currency assistance crossed 26 retired of 34 provinces, to more than 1.5 cardinal people. 

In August alone, FAO managed to reach implicit 100,000 people, contempt the upheavals resulting from the Taliban takeover. 

Flash Appeal for Afghanistan 

OCHA is seeking $606 cardinal to assistance astir 11 cardinal radical during the 4 remaining months this year, which includes 2 cardinal radical not antecedently covered successful the overall humanitarian effect plan, the bureau announced connected Tuesday. 

#Afghanistan: Humanitarians question $606 cardinal to supply prioritised multi-sectoral assistance to 11 cardinal radical successful the remaining months of 2021.

— UN Humanitarian (@UNOCHA) September 7, 2021

Around $193 cardinal of the overall appeal total, is for “new and emerging needs and changes successful operating costs” said Mr. Laerke. 

Donations volition present “critical nutrient and livelihood assistance to astir 11 cardinal people, indispensable wellness services to 3.4 million” and “treatment for acute malnutrition for much than a cardinal children and women,” said Mr. Laerke. 

300 unaccompanied children evacuated 

Since 14 August, hundreds of children person been separated from their families amidst chaotic conditions successful and astir the Hamid Karzai International Airport successful Kabul, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned connected Tuesday. 

The agency and its partners person registered astir 300 unaccompanied and separated children evacuated from Afghanistan to different countries specified arsenic Germany and Qatar. 

UNICEF said it expects this fig to rise, and Executive Director Henrietta Fore, emphasized in a statement that these children “are among the astir vulnerable” in the world. 

“It is captious that they are rapidly identified and kept harmless during household tracing and reunification processes...preferably with extended household members oregon successful a family-based setting”. 

UNICEF is providing method enactment to governments who person evacuated children and those who are hosting them. Teams are connected the crushed astatine the Doha aerial basal successful Qatar and the Ramstein aerial basal successful Germany, and the bureau is calling connected the Taliban to provide unimpeded humanitarian entree to each parts of Afghanistan to stitchery an close representation of those displaced. 

Remittances from overseas, vital: IOM 

Remittances to struggling Afghan families are needed present much than ever, the International Organization for Migration​​ (IOMsaid connected Tuesday, calling connected the astir six million workers living outside the country to proceed providing this captious lifeline. 

The fiscal strategy is connected the brink of collapse, IOM warned, with remittances excessively successful “a parlous state”. 

Following the Taliban’s takeover of the country,  the United States froze $7 cardinal of Afghan reserves, portion the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unopen off financing to the country, including hundreds of millions of dollars successful Special Drawing Rights, which tin beryllium converted into currency during times of crisis, said the IOM.  

Afghanistan’s Central Bank tin lone entree a fraction of its accustomed financing. This has meant that Afghan banks’ coffers cannot beryllium easy refilled, resulting successful ATMs moving retired of currency and withdrawal limits being enactment successful place. 

In turn, prices for indispensable goods are soaring. There are fears of nutrient shortages, higher inflation, and a slump successful the currency each resulting successful an intensification of the humanitarian exigency crossed the country.  

In 2020, ceremonial remittances into Afghanistan totalled upwards of $788 cardinal – astir 4 per cent of Afghanistan’s full GDP. According to the 2016-2017 Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey (ALCS), remittances correspond an income root for astir 1 successful each 10 Afghan households. 

The exigency effect indispensable present amended coordinate with Afghans who are abroad, the IOM said.  

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