The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in a report on Monday said that Afghanistan is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with “a very real risk of systemic collapse and human catastrophe.”
According to OCHA, in addition to unimaginable human costs, this humanitarian crisis is reversing many of the gains of the last 20 years, including women’s rights.
The report said that 17 million people will face acute hunger in 2023, including 6 million people at emergency levels of food insecurity.
“Deterioration is expected in the first quarter of 2023 due to the simultaneous effects of winter and the lean season, sustained high food prices, reduced income and unemployment and continued economic decline," the report reads.
Extreme cold amidst harsh winter has created many concerns about the challenging conditions of Afghans.
“I earn 100 Afs every day and it cannot meet any demand. I have not bought anything for the winter so far,” said Ahmad, a Kabul resident.
“I have only four blankets. There is nothing to eat or wear,” said a Kabul resident.
This comes as the head of the Swiss development agency said his country remains committed to humanitarian work in Afghanistan despite the ban on women working in NGOs.
The office of the Swiss development agency in Kabul was closed after the Islamic Emirate swept into power in August 2021. It is currently operating from Pakistan.
The director of the organization, Patricia Danzi, said in an interview with the NZZ said that the SDC is assessing how to use the CHF30 million ($33 million) budget effectively.
“Lack of economic infrastructure and investment are the main reasons for the increasing poverty and humanitarian crisis over one and half year," said Shabir Bashiri, an analyst.
This comes as the Minister of Economy, Abdul Latif Nazari, said that efforts are underway to spend the aid in infrastructure projects.
“We will use the aid for development activities and addressing of fundamental needs,” Nazari said.
The OCHA report said that the collapse of the previous government resulted in the suspension of direct international development assistance, which previously accounted for 75 percent of public expenditure, including the maintenance of the public health system.