Conflicts & War

IFRC warns of mass starvation, collapse of health services in Afghanistan

Kabul, Sep 30 (EFE).- Some 18 million Afghans are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance due to conflict, drought, and the raging Covid-19 pandemic, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned Thursday.

An IFRC statement said that Afghanistan faced an imminent collapse of health services and widespread hunger if aid and money did not reach within weeks.

Afghanistan has been battling an acute humanitarian crisis since the fall of Kabul to the Islamist Taliban militia on Aug.15.

Acute food shortages fueled by drought, lack of cash, the pandemic, and crippled health services have piled up miseries on the people of Afghanistan.

“Some 18 million Afghans (are) in urgent need of humanitarian assistance,” the IFRC statement said.

The statement said IFRC Asia Pacific Director Alexander Matheou is on a four-day visit to Kabul.

He has reported that Afghans faced a severe drought that has devastated food production, leaving millions hungry.

“We are deeply concerned that Afghanistan faces imminent collapse of health services and worsening hunger. Health financing has been cut across the country placing ever more demand on Red Crescent teams,” Matheou said.

“Urgent international action is needed to support millions of people with the necessities of life as Afghanistan’s looming harsh winter threatens greater misery and hardships.”

Afghan Red Crescent provides support in some of the hardest-hit provinces, including relief supplies to families suffering food shortages and loss of income.

Red Crescent has provided families who have lost their livelihoods with cash to buy food, plant drought-resistant crops and protect their livestock.

Health clinics, including mobile teams of doctors and nurses, are providing critical care across Afghanistan.

The IFRC has urgently appealed to the international community for at least $40 million to support Afghan Red Crescent to deliver emergency relief and recovery assistance to 560,000 people in 16 provinces worst affected by severe drought and displacement. EFE


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