Kabul, Nov 7 (EFE).– The United Nations Tuesday warned that 24 million Afghans, half of them children, were facing a deteriorating humanitarian crisis amid the outbreaks of life-threatening diseases in the war-ravaged country on the verge of an economic collapse.
Launching its largest-ever single-country appeal, the UN Children’s Fund called on the world community “to urgently respond to the humanitarian needs” of Afghanistan.
“Unicef appeal for $2 billion will help to avert the imminent collapse of health, nutrition, education and other vital social services for children and families,” the UN agency said in a statement.
Unicef warned that Afghanistan struggled with “alarming disruptions in health and nutrition services, a disastrous food crisis, drought, outbreaks of measles, acute watery diarrhea, polio and other preventable diseases” amid the crippling onset of winter.
”The current humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is dire, especially for children. Winter has already set in,” said Unicef Afghanistan representative Alice Akunga.
Akunga said without additional funding, Unicef and partners would be unable to reach the children and families “that need us the most.”
“As families struggle to put nutritious food on the table and health systems are further strained, millions of Afghan children are at risk of starvation and death.”
The UN agency estimated that 1 in 2 children under five will be acutely malnourished in 2022 due to the food crisis and poor access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
It said that outbreaks of life-threatening diseases continued, with over 60,000 cases of measles reported in 2021.
An estimated 8 of 10 Afghans drink bacteriologically contaminated water.