UN: Hunger threatens 7 million Afghans

April 17, 2011 - 0:0

The United Nations has warned of looming food aid shortage in Afghanistan, which could leave more than 7 million people hungry in the conflict-riddled country.

On Friday, the UN World Food Program (WFP), reported a nearly 257 million dollar funding shortage for its mission in Afghanistan.
The agency warned that about 7.3 million Afghans mostly women and children are considered food insecure and cannot access basic foods on a daily basis.
Only half of the stockpiles needed for food aid in Afghanistan this year were assured and overall a quarter of the country's population of around 30 million is at risk of hunger, the WFP further alarmed.
“Shortfalls in specialized nutrition products have also forced WFP to reduce the number of children under five that it can assist - down from 62,000 per month to about 40,000 per month,” added the UN body, warning that without new funding the agency has to scale back activities, including school feeding of a million Afghan children.
More than half of Afghan children under the age of five are malnourished and without proper nutrition in the first years of life and more Afghan children may suffer lasting physical and mental damage, the report says.
“We are making this appeal to give us the best possible chance of plugging the looming gaps in supply,” said WFP Afghanistan director Louis Imbleau.
The shortage includes supplementary plumpy, a food used to treat dangerous malnutrition levels in children.
“Food security is the bedrock of development in this country, especially for the youngest and most vulnerable,” She added.
Once a donation is made, it can take several months for the cash to translate into delivered food, depending on the shipping method.
(Source: Press TV)