The United Nations Children Fund’s says that nearly two million Afghan children are at risk of malnutrition as the population struggles with severe poverty amid an unprecedented spike in the price of food materials.
According to UNICEF, over 1.5 million children have already been affected by malnutrition in Afghanistan. The organization warned of the remergence of a new wave of the malady.
“Across Afghanistan today, millions of children are in desperate need for health and nutrition services ... around 14 million people in Afghanistan are food insecure today, among them around 3.5 million children, whom, we expect will suffer from acute malnutrition, within them around one million children ...,” said Salam Al-Janabi, communication specialist for UNICEF in Afghanistan.
He said that UNICEF and WFP have been working to the full extent of their capability over the past two months. “Around 40,000 children were provided with treatment for severe acute malnutrition."
Officials at the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital said that many malnutrition treatment centers had been closed in Afghanistan as health facilities face a shortage of medical supplies.
Dr. Farid Ahmad Andishmand said: “What the people say is that they can’t properly earn even one meals a day, and the lack of good and healthy food causes malnutrition. If it continues like this, the country will have a health crisis.”
Health officials voiced concerns over the suspension of international donations to the Afghan health sector.
“International aid has dropped,” said Mohammad Latif Bahir, head of the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital. “The hospital has a very small capacity. It doesn’t have the capacity for many patients and we want the world countries to continue their donations.”