In a recent report the FAO and WFP warned that acute food insecurity is likely to increase further in 18 "hunger hotspots" – a total of 22 countries – from June to November 2023.
According to this report, “Burkina Faso, Haiti, Mali, and Sudan have been elevated to the highest alert level to join Afghanistan, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen," and these countries "need urgent attention and humanitarian aid."
"What we can see is the current level of people facing acute hunger will end up being incredibly much higher within the course of the next coming months, between June and November, this report highlights. And that's something that we are really having to face ... at the World Food Program, not only are we in a restrained economic environment but we are also in an environment where we are going to have to assist more people than we will be able to,” said Kyungnan Park, WFP Director of Emergencies.
The findings of the report show that 15.8 million people in Afghanistan are facing severe food insecurity in 2023, of which 2.8 million are in an emergency situation.
The report says that the global economy is expected to slow down in 2023 – amid monetary tightening in advanced economies – increasing the cost of credit.
“Weather extremes, such as heavy rains, tropical storms, cyclones, flooding, drought and increased climate variability, remain significant drivers in some countries and regions.”
"Large investments in various fields, including the extraction and processing of minerals, and the creation of heavy, medium, and light industries, are necessary to reduce poverty, create jobs, foster economic prosperity, and improve people's welfare," said Azerakhsh Hafizi, an economist.
The Islamic Emirate's spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, rejected the claims of the report and asserted that this year's harvest is strong and that there is no food scarcity in the nation's marketplaces.
"We had very good wheat harvests in the majority of the provinces, and people were satisfied with the harvests, so this claim by the food organization may be propaganda, or they have received false information,” Mujahid said.
"Reduced international aid, drought, and climate change have had negative effects on the living conditions of the people of Afghanistan and have contributed to the growth of food insecurity," said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy of the Ministry of Economy.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of the United Nations, currently 28.3 million people in Afghanistan need humanitarian aid, of which 6 million people are on the brink of famine.