The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced Tuesday it has donated $25 million USD to the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) Afghanistan Protractive Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) to provide cash-based and food assistance to nearly 1.7 million Afghans.
Most of these Afghans are women and children affected by conflict, natural disasters, and seasonal hunger.
USAID Mission Director Herbert Smith said: "This contribution will meet immediate food needs and will allow WFP to work with communities to sow the seeds for community recovery with interventions that empower vulnerable Afghan families, rebuild livelihoods, and prepare for future shocks."
USAID is the largest donor to the WFP in Afghanistan.
Since 2017, USAID has provided $89 million USD to WFP to support emergency food and nutrition operations in Afghanistan.
USAID works with 16 UN and NGO partners to save lives and reduce the suffering of communities affected by ongoing complex emergencies and its humanitarian assistance is also meeting the acute needs of highly vulnerable Afghans in water, sanitation, and hygiene; emergency basic health; shelter and non-food items; and food and nutrition assistance.
This announcement comes just a day after the WFP raised concerns over the growing number of people facing a serious risk in terms of food security in Afghanistan.
David Beasley, Executive Director of World Food Program (WFP) has said that currently about 40 percent of the population in Afghanistan has no food security.
Referring to the UN’s concerns about the rising number of people suffering from hunger, WFP officials said that over the past three years, four million more people now face a lack of food security, bringing the total number to 13 million out of about 30 million in the country.
According to WFP, from the figure, eight million people are facing a serious risk of hunger. They called on the Afghan government, private sector and the international community to step up efforts to overcome this challenge.
Officials have said the lack of security, climate change and the flood of return refugees in the past three years has resulted in the increase in poverty and lack of food security.