Afghanistan Facing Famine

Afghanistan Facing Famine

(New York) – Donor countries, the United Nations, and international financial institutions should urgently address Afghanistan’s collapsed economy and broken banking system to prevent widespread famine, Human Rights Watch said today.

The UN World Food Program has issued multiple warnings of worsening food insecurity and the risk of large-scale deaths from hunger throughout Afghanistan in coming months. The media have reportedthat families lacking money and food are selling their possessions and seeking to flee the country overland. Impoverished Afghans facing malnutrition have described desperate attempts to buy or forage for food, and the deaths of people unable to leave.

“Afghanistan’s economy and social services are collapsing, with Afghans throughout the country already suffering acute malnutrition,” said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Humanitarian aid is critical, but given the crisis, governments, the UN, and international financial institutions need to urgently adjust existing restrictions and sanctions affecting the country’s economy and banking sector.”

Following the Taliban’s August 2021 takeover of Afghanistan, millions of dollars in lost income, spiking prices, a liquidity crisis, and shortages of cash have deprived much of the population of access to food, water, shelter, and health care, Human Rights Watch said.

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Photos by: Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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