Interview: On brink of humanitarian crisis, there's 'no childhood' in Afghanistan

Interview: On brink of humanitarian crisis, there's 'no childhood' in Afghanistan

UN News spoke with Samantha Mort, Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Civic Engagement at UNICEF Afghanistan, who assured that all offices remain open and warehouses full. 

Some 22.8 million people across the country are facing food insecurity, she explained, adding that they cannot access affordable or nutritious food.  

Of the 38 million people living in Afghanistan, some 14 million children are food insecure. 

For Ms. Mort, “there's no childhood” these days in Afghanistan. “It's all about survival and getting through the next day.” 

‘The perfect storm’  

She painted a grim picture of impoverished families in which parents are not eating three meals a day, meal portions are decreasing and people wake up not knowing where the next meal is coming from.   

“It's that level of food insecurity”, said the UNICEF official.  

Exacerbated by drought, a poor harvest and rising food prices, she referred to the looming crisis as “the perfect storm in Afghanistan”.   

And at the start of a typically freezing cold winter, Ms. Mort said that snow would cut off rural areas in the mountains.   

“UNICEF is very, very concerned because what we are seeing is around 3.2 million children who are acutely malnourished and 1.1 million children who are at risk of dying because of severe, acute malnutrition unless we intervene with treatment”, she warned.  

Full article below:

Photos by:  UNICEF/Siegfried Modola

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