By: Shukria Kohistani
KABUL: Reporting on lack of food security of 14 million Afghan people, National Information and Statistics Authority (NISA) and the UN said that over 47 percent of 33.6 million population of Afghanistan are living under the poverty line while the remaining people have no access to proper nutrition.
Mansoor, an ordinary Afghan citizen, in an interview with The Kabul Times said that every day in early morning, he leaves home to find a livelihood to his family, but he fails to get proper food. “I search garbage every night to find something to eat.” Mansoor asked people to separate their garbage to useable and unusable parts and throw them separately into garbage bins.
A large number of poor people are seen every day that have been gathering around garbage bins, search for food. These people include young children who often fight each other even during searching.
These children who are future builders of Afghanistan spend their childhood in garbage bins due to poverty and continued war in the country.
Noorgul, a child who was bearing a sack on his back said that he collects empty bottles from garbage bins and then sell them. “We work in hot or cold weather to find food.”
According to UN, food security is a situation that in which all people have even physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, healthy food to lead a normal daily life. Based on UN estimation, about 690 million people were starving last year most, most them in Asia, and as per UN estimation, covid-19 has added to the misery and the number might increase to even more than 130 million people in 2021.
It seems that starvation and food insecurity are prevailing more than every other country in Afghanistan. UNFAO has estimated that in 2021 about 14 million Afghan pollution would face food insecurity.
FAO has said that continued wars, insecurity, changeable situation, gender inequality, quick urbanization and unemployment are the main challenges of food insecurity in Afghanistan. According to UNFAO, malnutrition is another concern which is spreading particularly among women, children, IDPs, repatriates disabled, poor families and families whose supporters are women.
FAO adds that 41 percent of total Afghan children under five years, are directly facing with malnutrition as these data reaches in some provinces to 70 percent.
Addressing the media, general director of Ministry of Public Health’s National Food Authority and Medicine, Ibrahim Shinwari said that lack of access to high quality food could cause stomach, eyes, respiratory, skin and other diseases.
According to MoPH report, 40% of Afghan population have no access to hygienic food due to sanitary reasons, lack of attention to sanitation or keeping food in improper places, lack of access to proper and sufficient food claims life of over 3,5 million people each year, 90% of them in 20 developing countries including Afghanistan. Due to extensive starvation and mortality rate, the UNGA named 7th of June in a resolution on 20.12.2018 as the World Food Security Day.
Continued wars have displaced the Afghan people but they need to work and find food items.