By: Shukria Kohistani
Increasing insecurities and drought in Afghanistan has caused suffering 3 million Afghan children from severe malnutrition. An official of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Afghanistan has considered current situation in Afghanistan as horrific as fighting and violence as well as drought are threatening the life of Afghans.
UNICEF’s regional operation representative Mustafa bin Masoud told media that most Afghan children have been affected by the current situation in the country.
“The news is horrible, but not surprising. Drought has been reported in recent weeks and war has entered its deadliest and most destructive phase. While the children are forced to leave their homes, they often run out of nutrient food and do not even know where their food comes from,” Masoud said, adding that UNICEF is helping its 11 partnered organizations to provide food and other needs to the people.
According to UNICEF, RUTF – Ready – to – Use Therapeutic Food has been distributed in a number of provinces of Afghanistan.
Mustafa bin Masoud has predicted that half of Afghan children under five won’t have necessary psychological health and energy to play due to severe malnutrition in Afghanistan until end of the current year.
Meanwhile, Afghan officials for the Ministry of Public Health say nearly half of the country’s population is living in severe poverty caused by increasing insecurities and recent drought in the country. “The number of Afghan children under five suffering from severe malnutrition is now 895,000, while the number of children suffering from mild nutrition is 2.2 million. In the meantime, nearly 720,000 pregnant or breastfeeding mothers are suffering from malnutrition in Afghanistan,” said Mursal Manati, head of malnutrition affairs of the Ministry of Public Health.
According to officials of the Ministry of Public Health, the number of individuals suffering from malnutrition in Afghanistan is on the rise on annual basis.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Anwarul Haq Ahadi has recently said that necessary and serious steps needed to be taken for addressing poverty in Afghanistan until end of the current year.
Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, has called Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Ethiopia as countries where the humanitarian crisis has intensified and has had the greatest impact on children.
As the war is raging in some parts of the country, many families with their children are leaving their home areas due to serious clashes. Currently, children, women and the elderly are one of the most vulnerable groups in Afghanistan suffering from this situation.