KABUL: The UN’s World Food Program has been forced to cut rations to 4 million Afghans this month, it said in a statement late Friday, due to a lack of funding amid a severe humanitarian crisis in the country.
“Due to funding constraints, at least four million people will receive only half of what they need in March,” the statement said, adding that the UN food agency urgently needed $93 million to reach 13 million people in Afghanistan in April. .
After the Taliban took power in 2021, the already impoverished country fell deeper into economic crisis, with foreign governments cutting development funding and imposing sanctions on the banking sector.
Some officials, including from the United Nations, have expressed concern that donors will withdraw from the country’s massive humanitarian aid program following a series of restrictions on women that the Taliban administration imposed last year, including a ban on most staff at Afghan women’s NGOs. from work in December.
The UN has approved a one-year extension of the mission in Afghanistan
The reason for March’s shortfall in World Food Program funding was not immediately clear.
The drop in rations comes at the end of a particularly harsh, deadly winter, when many families have depleted their food stores and ahead of the next harvest season around May.
The United Nations has estimated that about 90 percent of Afghans cannot afford enough food.