WORLD UN says rural Afghans have critical need for aid

WORLD

UN says rural Afghans have critical need for aid

AP

09:37, September 15, 2021

Afghans wait in front of a bank branch as they try to withdraw money in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. (Photo: AP)

A U.N. official says 4 million Afghans are facing "a food emergency," with the majority in rural areas where there is a critical need for funding for planting winter wheat, feed for livestock and cash assistance for vulnerable families, elderly and disabled.

The director of the Food and Agriculture Organization's Office of Emergencies and Resilience said Tuesday in a video briefing from Kabul says 70% of Afghans live in rural areas and agriculture is indispensable to the Afghan population.

Rein Paulson says it represents just over 25% of Afghanistan's GDP, directly employs 45% of the work force, "and most importantly it provides livelihood benefits for fully 80% of the Afghan population."

He says a severe drought is affecting 7.3 million people in 25 of the country's 34 provinces and rural communities also have been hurt by the pandemic. He says 4 million Afghans are facing a humanitarian emergency characterized by "extreme gaps in food consumption, very high levels of acute malnutrition and excess mortality."

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