Kabul, June 17 (EFE).– Seventy percent of Afghan households are unable to meet the basic necessities of life due to mounting poverty and acute food crisis, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Friday.
An IFRC statement said thousands of people have resorted to begging in the streets, with prices of essential items soaring in the face of declining remittances, a crumbling economy, and rising poverty.
The crisis is particularly having “devastating effects” on homes headed by widows, the elderly, people with disabilities, and children.
“An estimated 3 million children are at risk of malnutrition and susceptible to diseases such as acute watery diarrhoea and measles due to weakened immunity,” the nonprofit said.
The IFRC called for increased global support to “stem (the) spiralling hunger in Afghanistan as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises threatens millions.”
It said intense summer heat and a weak spring rainy season had effectively spelled doom for a meaningful harvest in the country.
“(It) is one of the worst humanitarian crises I have seen in Afghanistan, in more than 30 years as a humanitarian aid worker. It is horrifying to see the extent of hunger and resurgence of poverty that we have fought so hard to eradicate,” said Secretary-General of Afghan Red Crescent Mohammad Nabi Burhan.
“It is particularly worrying for Afghans in rural and remote areas, where some of the country’s poorest communities face widespread destitution and very high levels of malnutrition after their crops failed or livestock perished.”
Burhan called for “a concerted international effort…so that lives can be saved.”
Necephor Mghendi, IFRC’s Head of Delegation for Afghanistan, said the Afghans were trying to cope with one of the worst droughts and food crises they have ever faced.
The situation has left “children malnourished and far more vulnerable to preventable disease.” EFE
The war-battered country has been battling the humanitarian crisis since the Taliban came to power.
The international community led by the United States temporarily suspended funds for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, which accounted for around 43 percent of its gross domestic product – according to data from the World Bank The Western also froze its assets abroad and imposed restrictions on the Afghan banking sector and international humanitarian funds that aggravated the humanitarian and economic crisis in the country.