BERLIN: The UN Head of World Food Program (WFP) has again expressed concern over the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and added that the Afghan people have resorted to selling their children and parts of their bodies to survive.
WFP chief David Basely has once again urged the international community to expedite aid delivery to Afghanistan as over half of the population is starving in the country.
Afghanistan is struggling with drought, a pandemic, an economic collapse, and the effects of years of conflict. Some 24 million people are experiencing acute food insecurity. More than half the population will be facing famine this winter and 97 per cent of the population could fall below the poverty line this year.
"Afghanistan was already one of the poorest countries in the world, with 20 years, at least, of conflict with the Taliban," Beasley told German public state-owned international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW). "And now what we're facing is catastrophic. The number of people that are knocking on starvation's door is 23 million people out of 40 million people," he added.
In an interview with DW, Beasley revealed a case of a woman he met in Afghanistan who had been forced to sell her daughter to another family in the hope that they could feed her better.
Although US and allies have left the country in August last year, several international charities and aid groups continue to have remained to support locals and curtail the exacerbating humanitarian situation in the country.
Beasley called on the world's richest to help solve the current hunger crisis. "During this COVID experience, the world's billionaires have made unprecedented money. Over $5.2 billion [EUR4.67 billion] of net worth increase per day. All we need is one day's worth of their net worth increase to really address our short-term crises," he added.
Special Representatives and Special Envoys of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the UK, and the US met in Oslo on January 24 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, including sessions with representatives of the Taliban and civil society actors.
In a joint statement, the Western envoys stressed the urgent need to address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and highlighted necessary steps to help alleviate the suffering of Afghans across the country.
Participants recognized steps taken to ease access for humanitarian workers, male and female, while also expressing concern that there are still certain impediments in place, and participants also reiterated the importance of swiftly removing all conditions and obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian aid, the statement added.