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21 mn people in Afghanistan facing severe cuts in relief due to funding gaps: UN

United Nations, Aug 5 (IANS) The UN humanitarians have warned of critical aid funding gaps for more than 21 million people in Afghanistan, saying that some relief already has been trimmed.

With more than halfway through the year, the $3.2 billion appeal to aid almost half the population across Afghanistan is less than 25 per cent funded, Xinhua news agency quoted the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as saying in its latest situation update.

“We face critical funding gaps amounting to $1.3 billion, with many programs already ended or considerably scaled back due to insufficient resources and aid pipelines at risk of imminent rupture, including for food assistance,” OCHA said.

The humanitarian office said it only has a short window of opportunity to procure and position vital assistance and supplies before the lean season and winter begin.

After more than four decades of conflict and instability in Afghanistan, an estimated 28.3 million Afghans — two-thirds of the population, including women and girls — are in need of humanitarian and protection assistance.

More than 1.6 million Afghans have fled the country since the Taliban returned to power in 2021, bringing the total number of Afghans in neighboring countries to 8.2 million — accounting for one of the largest protracted refugee situations in the world.

At least 3.2 million Afghans are displaced within their own country.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of the war-torn country’s population is food insecure, including 875,000 children facing acute malnutrition.

Women and girls remain most at risk.



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