UNICEF estimates that 1 million Afghan children are at risk of starvation and death as a result of Taliban rule.
According to a UNICEF official, at least one million children in Afghanistan are at risk of famine and death under Taliban rule.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore warned that at least a million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition or death from starvation as Afghans battle drought affecting a third of the country and soaring food prices under the Taliban regime during a high-level meeting on the Afghanistan crisis in Geneva.
In a statement, Fore added, “at least 1 million children will suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year and may die if they are not treated.”
“Nearly ten million girls and boys rely on humanitarian aid to make ends meet. Because of severe drought and water scarcity, concerns about financing for the continuation of basic services, the onset of winter, and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bleak situation facing Afghanistan’s children is likely to worsen in the coming months unless urgent action is taken.”
Nearly 600,000 people, more than half of whom are children, have been displaced by fighting in Afghanistan this year, according to Fore.
On August 15, the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan when the United States withdrew its soldiers, bringing an end to the country’s 20-year war. The price of flour in the local market has doubled since then. Chicken and other meats have also become rare, leaving residents to make do with beans and rice.
Apart from the rise in food prices, many local companies have yet to reopen, leaving many families without a source of income as food prices continue to rise. Because banks are closed, managers at a local hospital in Chak-e Wardak have yet to pay their employees’ salaries or purchase fresh supplies.
“We don’t have any shortages in the hospital right now,” Dr. Faridullah, a resident doctor, told The New York Times, “but our own facilities and employees rely on funding coming from abroad, which we can’t access.”
According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Afghanistan’s poverty rate has risen since the Taliban took power, with one in every three Afghans struggling to put food on the table.
“They face probably their most perilous hour after decades of war, hardship, and insecurity,” Guterres said at a high-level session in Geneva.
According to The Washington Post, the United Nations raised more than $1 billion in emergency help during the meeting as an interim solution to give aid to more than 11 million Afghans over the next four months.