According to a newly released IPC* report, the food situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated significantly in 2021, with nearly 19 million Afghans experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity between September and October 2021. In 2022, this number will most likely climb to almost 23 million. Unless the international community acts now, 55% of Afghans will not have sufficient food and suffer from hunger in the next six months.
Action Against Hunger, which has operated in Afghanistan since 1995, remains in the country to address the needs of the most vulnerable women and children. We call on the international community to step up and do more to support the Afghan people.
In order to reach communities in need, international support is needed to guarantee the safe passage of humanitarian relief supplies, preserve humanitarian space for aid workers to work, and provide steadfast financial support to maintain humanitarian operations. Afghanistan needs international engagement, not exclusion. International sanctions targeting the new administration will do the most harm to the country's 40 million civilians. At the same time, Action Against Hunger calls on all parties in Afghanistan to protect civilians and to respect the rights and freedom of all Afghans, including women and girls.
Millions of people throughout Afghanistan are experiencing spiraling levels of acute food insecurity and need urgent lifesaving support. Compared to the same period last year, the number of people facing crisis levels of hunger has risen by 30% due to the impacts of COVID-19, a massive drought, conflict, and an economic collapse and extreme cash shortage since the Taliban took over. As cold weather sets in across the country, many Afghans are not prepared to confront and survive the hardships of winter. This might be the most difficult year ahead for people who, for the last 40 years, have learned to live with extreme hardships.
The IPC data - collected and supported by Action Against Hunger - shows that Afghanistan is the world’s second most significant food crisis. Action Against Hunger’s teams throughout the country, with the support of our donors, have, under difficult conditions, resumed our activities, including the treatment of severely malnourished mothers and children at our mobile health clinics and therapeutic feeding centers. To safely continue this lifesaving work, we call for a strong, concrete mobilization of all stakeholders to ease supply delivery, ensure access to humanitarian aid, and protect aid workers.
* The Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) is a landmark in the fight against food insecurity and collects and analyzes data to assess the severity of food crises. It is a five-phase scale (5 - catastrophe, 4 - emergency, 3 - crisis, 2 - stress, 1 - secure) which is intended to help quickly understand the scale of a crisis and to spark action.