The World Food Programme (WFP) said in a press release that it is “being forced to drop another 2 million hungry people from food assistance in Afghanistan in September, bringing to 10 million the number of people cut off from its support this year in the country.”
According to the WFP’s press release, due to a massive funding shortfall, going forward WFP will only be able to provide emergency assistance to 3 million people per month.
“Amid already worrying levels of hunger and malnutrition, we are obliged to choose between the hungry and the starving, leaving millions of families scrambling for their next meal,” said Hsiao-Wei Lee, WFP’s Country Director and Representative in Afghanistan. “With the few resources we have left, we are not able to serve all those people teetering on the edge of utter destitution.”
WFP noted that for the coming six months, it needs US$1 billion to reach a planned 21 million people with lifesaving food and nutrition assistance as well as livelihood support.
“This reduction in food aid means that 1.4 million mothers and their children will no longer be able to receive specialized food designed to prevent malnutrition. The number of people admitted to nursing homes is expected to rise rapidly in the coming months,” said Wahidullah Amani, spokesman for WFP Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, some needy people in Kabul asked humanitarian organizations to increase their aid to the people of Afghanistan.
“I cannot earn 100Afs a day. I earn 20 to 40 or 50 Afs per day, what should I do with this amount of money?” said Shahzad, a resident of Kabul.
“Aid is given to those who know the community leaders, and they have money and a car, but sadly it is not given those who are destitute,” said Shafiullah, another resident of Kabul.
The only provider of a family of ten, Mohammad Sediq, 50, repairs shoes in Kabul. He said that so far he hasn't received any assistance from the humanitarian organizations.
“Aid is not reaching us, it is reaching those who are rich, and it is not reaching those who deserve it. So far, I have not received aid. Although I have been many places, they did not give it to us,” Sediq said.
According to some economists, the reduction of the aid of the World Food Program to Afghanistan will increase the economic crisis in the country.
"The reduction in international community aid has led to a decrease in fluidity and ultimately, on its own scale, it can add to the country's economic crisis,” said Abdul Zuhor Mudabir, an economist.
"If the aid of the international community decreases, it can exacerbate the humanitarian crisis and have a detrimental impact on the social status of the people,” said Seiyar Qureshi, an economist.
This comes as previously various international institutions voiced concerns that more than half of the country's population is facing poverty.