The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday launched a global fundraising winter campaign to help forcibly displace families to avert a “crisis of hunger and starvation” in Afghanistan as the cold winter sets in.
UNHCR spokesperson Barbar Baluch speaking in Geneva described the situation of the displaced people inside Afghanistan as a crisis of hunger and starvation. “It's a crisis of hunger and starvation. People don't have enough to eat, and it's very visible,” he said.
UNHCR said 3.5 million people have been displaced inside Afghanistan due to conflict, of whom 700,000 were displaced in 2021. According to UNHCR, these families do not have insulated shelters, warm clothes, sufficient food, fuel for heating, and medical supplies, with temperatures “expected to drop to minus 25 Celsius.”
“Hunger in the country has reached truly unprecedented levels. Nearly 23 million people, that's 55 percent of the population (who) are facing extreme levels of hunger, and nearly nine million of them are at risk of famine,” the UNHCR spokesman said.
According to UNHCR, around 700,000 displaced people have been assisted by this organization, and it has the capacity to assist nearly 60,000 people every week. Baloch, however, said: “But as we reach thousands of people, we find thousands more people who are in need of humanitarian assistance.” He described the situation in Afghanistan as a race against time.
He said further resources are needed to address the primary needs of the most vulnerable people, like single mothers with no shelter or food for their children, to avert a humanitarian crisis in the country.