WFP / AFGHANISTAN HUNGER DATA

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22-Sep-2021 00:02:18
Job losses, lack of cash and soaring prices are creating a new class of hungry in Afghanistan, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has warned today. WFP

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STORY: WFP / AFGHANISTAN HUNGER DATA
TRT: 02:18
SOURCE: WFP
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT WFP ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / DARI / NATS

DATELINE: 21 SEPTEMBER 2021, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN / 11, 16 SEPTEMBER 2021, MAZAR-I-SHARIF, AFGHANISTAN / 22 SEPTEMBER 2021, ROME, ITALY / 21 SEPTEMBER 2021, CHAMAN- SPIN BOLDAK, PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN BORDER

SHOTLIST:

21 SEPTEMBER 2021, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

1. Various shots, WFP nutrition testing and distribution of special fortified foods.
2. Close up, Sabzina’s daughter, Zubaida receiving Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) test
3. SOUNBITE (Dari) Sabzina, with her daughter Zubaida:
“My child is sick because of hunger, lack of medicine and the hot weather, there is no food, no medicine, some people come and bring only paracetamol tablets nothing more, there is no proper check-up and medicine.”

16 SEPTEMBER 2021, MAZAR-I-SHARIF, AFGHANISTAN

4. Various shots, market

11 SEPTEMBER 2021, MAZAR-I-SHARIF, AFGHANISTAN

5. Various shots, drought in Tangi-Shadyan
6. Various shots, drought scorched land; Children collecting water from a dry riverbed and carrying it home on donkeys

22 SEPTEMBER 2021, ROME, ITALY

7. SOUNBITE (English) Arif Hussain, Chief Economist, World Food Programme (WFP):
“Our surveys right now show that nice out of ten people don’t have enough to eat. About 7 out of 10 are using extreme coping strategies like borrowing food, not eating enough, eating inferior quality products. And 50% of the population has experienced running out of food at least once in the last 2 weeks. Now in this situation if we have to tackle this, we need about $200 million immediately so we can preposition food before the winter arrives.”

21 SEPTEMBER 2021, PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN BORDER

8. Various shots, WFP Convoy
9. Various shots, WFP convoy of trucks from Pakistan crossing the border into Afghanistan carrying 876 metric tons of special fortified foods for children and breastfeeding mothers

STORYLINE:

Job losses, lack of cash and soaring prices are creating a new class of hungry in Afghanistan, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has warned today.

For the first time, urban residents are suffering from food insecurity at similar rates to rural communities, which have been ravaged by drought twice in the past three years. Only five percent of households in Afghanistan have enough to eat every day, according to recent surveys conducted by WFP, while half reported they had run out of food altogether at least once in the past two weeks.

SOUNBITE (Dari) Sabzina, with her daughter Zubaida:
“My child is sick because of hunger, lack of medicine and the hot weather, there is no food, no medicine, some people come and bring only paracetamol tablets nothing more, there is no proper check-up and medicine.”

The middle classes are also struggling - only 10 percent of households headed by someone with a secondary or university education were able to buy sufficient food for their families every day. Though the situation is worse for those less well-educated, the unprecedented prevalence of hunger among families that had previously been spared the scourge of hunger signals the depth of the crisis facing ordinary Afghans.

On average, breadwinners are finding work just one day a week, barely enough to afford food that is rapidly increasing in price. Cooking oil, for example, has almost doubled in price since 2020, and wheat is up by 28 percent.

Afghanistan is on the brink of economic collapse, caused by a rapid withdrawal of international aid, combined with the inability to access overseas assets. In turn, this is fuelling a cash crisis, a sharp drop in the value of the local currency and has led to a sudden halt in foreign investment, driving more families into food insecurity as jobs and income dry up.

SOUNBITE (English) Arif Hussain, Chief Economist, World Food Programme (WFP):
“Our surveys right now show that nice out of ten people don’t have enough to eat. About 7 out of 10 are using extreme coping strategies like borrowing food, not eating enough, eating inferior quality products. And 50% of the population has experienced running out of food at least once in the last 2 weeks. Now in this situation if we have to tackle this, we need about $200 million immediately so we can preposition food before the winter arrives.”

WFP has provided 6.4 million people with food assistance this year, including more than 1.4 million people since the Taliban takeover on 15 August. WFP runs programmes designed to both address the immediate needs of people facing emergencies, while also building community resilience so they are better able to cope in times of crisis.

WFP works with communities to strengthen their ability to reduce the risk of disasters and adapt to climate change, while also creating employment opportunities to provide much-needed cash in desperate times. This includes constructing or rehabilitating roads, canals, flood protection walls and reforestation, as well as vocational training.

Throughout the difficult weeks in August and September, WFP has continued school feeding programmes, helping to keep boys and girls in school and staving off malnutrition, while bolstering the local economy when food is produced and purchased locally, and creating stable markets, supporting local agriculture, and strengthening local food systems.

The survey revealed Afghanistan’s food security situation based on data collected via telephone surveys of more than 1,600 households across 34 provinces between 21 August and 16 September.

14 million people are facing acute food insecurity including 2 million children who are at risk of malnutrition.

Emergency levels of acute malnutrition are present in 27 of 34 provinces.
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