UN warns humanitarian crisis growing worse in Afghanistan - GulfToday

UN warns humanitarian crisis growing worse in Afghanistan


Young balloon vendors walk as they look for customers along a street in Kabul on Wednesday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Afghanistan's humanitarian crisis is growing alarmingly worse, a top UN official warned on Wednesday, calling on the international community to do more to help the war-torn nation.

Mary-Ellen McGroarty, World Food Programme Afghanistan director, said the country's economy is on the brink of collapse and a humanitarian crisis has "escalated and magnified at an incredible pace" over the past few weeks.


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"It's the first time I've seen a crisis like this escalate and accelerate at the pace and scale that it is," Mary-Ellen McGroarty told reporters in New York during a video press conference.

An Afghan security guard walks through a gate at the passport office in Kabul on Wednesday. AFP

Before the Taliban seized power in mid-August, Afghanistan already "had a humanitarian crisis of incredible proportions," affecting some 18 million people, McGroarty said. "It's just escalating and getting worse."

"We expect those numbers to increase, and particularly around the issues of food and of malnutrition," she added.

With a liquidity crisis causing Afghans to "become more and more desperate and have less and less money," the UN official urged the international community to be more generous in providing aid to Afghanistan as it prepares for the dreaded winter season.

Asked whether the Taliban were hampering deliveries of humanitarian aid, McGroarty said no.

"We haven't really come up against any obstacles," she said, adding that aid was based on "humanitarian principles, impartiality, neutrality and operational independence."



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