KABUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered emergency food assistance to 18,200 people affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Paktika and Khost on June 22. The 5.9 magnitude quake killed around 800 people, injured 1,500 people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

The U.N. World Food Programme has provided High Energy Biscuits and rations of wheat flour, salt, vegetable oil and beans. Distributions across both provinces are ongoing, while needs assessment teams are gathering information in earthquake-hit areas to uncover the full extent of the damage and determine priority humanitarian needs.

“This is an emergency on top of an emergency. 19 million people are already facing acute hunger across the country, a severe drought and crippling economic crisis is pushing people to the brink. And now thousands have lost their homes after the powerful earthquake and desperately need food assistance and shelter. We are appealing to the international community not to forget the people of Afghanistan,’’ said Gordon Craig, deputy country representative for the U.N. World Food Programme in Afghanistan

Additional Information for Journalists:

  • Humanitarian response efforts in areas affected by last week’s earthquake are ongoing as aftershocks continue to be felt in Giyan (Paktika). The logistics working group (led by the U.N. World Food Programme) is working with UNOPS to conduct a road assessment in three districts.
  • To date, the U.N. World Food Programme has provided emergency food assistance to approximately 18,200 earthquake-affected people (2,600 households).
  • In Bermal, the U.N. World Food Programme has identified 900 households (6,300 people) that require food assistance. To date, approximately 600 households (4,200 people) have received assistance.
  • In Giyan, the U.N. World Food Programme has provided High Energy Biscuits (HEB) to 2,000 households (14,000 people), including 614 households (4,300 people) who have also received emergency food rations.
    Complementary cooking supplies are being distributed jointly by UNHCR and IOM.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme has successfully set up two Mobile Storage Units (MSUs): one in Giyan in the Paktika province and one in Spera in the Khost province. A third MSU will be set up in Bermal in Paktika today.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

KABUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has rapidly deployed food and logistics equipment to support communities devastated by the June 22nd earthquake that struck near the city of Khost. 18 trucks are being deployed to the earthquake-affected areas carrying emergency supplies, including High Energy Biscuits (HEB) and mobile storage units. The U.N. World Food Programme plans to provide emergency food to an initial 3,000 households and is ready to ramp up its support pending results of ongoing post-disaster assessments.

The U.N. World Food Programme – together with humanitarian partners – has been assessing earthquake damage and the needs of families on the ground. The remote districts of Giyan and Barmal in the Paktika province and Spera in the Khost province are among the areas worst hit. In Barmal, more than 70% of homes were completely destroyed. At least 1,000 people have reportedly been killed, with 2,000 others injured. However, rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy rain and winds, as well as poor connectivity in affected areas.

“The Afghan people are already facing an unprecedented crisis following decades of conflict, severe drought and an economic downturn. The earthquake will only add to the already massive humanitarian needs they endure daily, including for the nearly 19 million people across the country who face acute hunger and require assistance. Our teams rapidly mobilized and will continue to provide support to help affected families get through this latest tragedy,” said Gordon Craig, U.N. World Food Programme deputy country director in Afghanistan.

The U.N. World Food Programme works in all 34 provinces of the country and has a fleet of 239 trucks on the road every day, delivering food to some 800 food distribution sites across the country. In May, the U.N. World Food Programme provided 590,000 people in Paktika province and 320,000 in Khost with emergency food and nutrition assistance. Since the start of 2022, the U.N. World Food Programme has assisted 18 million people with food, cash and livelihoods support in Afghanistan.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

Our hearts go out to families impacted by the devastating 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck South-West of Khost, Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan on June 22. We are deeply saddened by the devastation and loss. World Food Program USA is working to support the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)’s emergency response. U.N. World Food Programme teams rapidly mobilized to provide emergency support, deploying 18 trucks to the earthquake-affected areas carrying emergency supplies, including High Energy Biscuits (HEB) and mobile storage units. The U.N. World Food Programme plans to provide emergency food to an initial 3,000 households and is ready to ramp up its support pending results of ongoing post-disaster assessments. The U.N. World Food Programme – together with humanitarian partners – has been assessing earthquake damage and the needs of families on the ground. The remote districts of Giyan and Barmal in the Paktika province and Spera in the Khost province are among the areas worst hit. In Barmal, more than 70% of homes were completely destroyed. At least 1,000 people have reportedly been killed and 2,000 others injured. However, rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy rain and winds, as well as poor connectivity in affected areas.

The country is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis after decades of conflict, severe drought and a devastating economic crisis. This earthquake will only add to the already massive needs, including food insecurity for 19 million people. Operating in Afghanistan since 1963, the U.N. World Food Programme works in all 34 provinces and has a fleet of 239 trucks on the road every day, delivering food to some 800 distribution sites across the country. The U.N. World Food Programme has so far provided emergency food and nutrition assistance to 18 million people across Afghanistan this year, and in May we have assisted almost 320,000 people in Khost and more than 590,000 in Paktika provinces.

We stand committed to the people of Afghanistan and will do everything we can to reach vulnerable families in their time of great need. But we can’t do it without the support of donors. Please join us as we work to feed millions of vulnerable people.

 

Media Contact:
Abigail Seiler 
Senior Manager, Public Relations
World Food Program USA
aseiler@wfpusa.org
443-843-4368 (cell)

Humanitarian assistance averted a catastrophe in the harsh winter months – but hunger continues across the country at unprecedented levels.

KABUL – 19.7 million people, almost half of Afghanistan’s population, are facing acute hunger according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis conducted in January and February 2022 by Food Security and Agriculture Cluster partners, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and many NGOs.

The report predicts that the outlook for June-November 2022 sees a slight improvement in the food security situation, with a reduction in the number of people facing acute food insecurity to 18.9 million people. This is due in part to the coming wheat harvest from May to August and this year’s well-coordinated scale-up of humanitarian food assistance – alongside increased agricultural livelihood support. However, the report warmed that gains will be limited. Lingering drought and the deep economic crisis mean unprecedented hunger will continue to threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across Afghanistan.

Of particular concern – and for the first time since the introduction of the IPC in Afghanistan in 2011 – a small pocket of “catastrophic” levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 5) has been detected in the country. More than 20,000 people in the northeastern province of Ghor are facing catastrophic levels of hunger because of a long period of harsh winter and disastrous agricultural conditions.

“Unprecedented levels of humanitarian assistance focused on bolstering food security have made a difference. But the food security situation is dire. Humanitarian assistance remains desperately important, as do the needs to rebuild shattered agricultural livelihoods and re-connect farmers and rural communities to struggling rural and urban markets across the country. Unless these happen, there will be no way out of this crisis,” said Richard Trenchard, FAO representative in Afghanistan.

“Food assistance and emergency livelihood support are the lifeline for the people of Afghanistan. We mounted the world’s largest humanitarian food operation in a matter of months, reaching more than 16 million people since August 2021,” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, the U.N. World Food Programme’s country director and representative in Afghanistan.

“We are working with farmers, millers, and bakeries, training women and creating jobs to support the local economy. Because the people of Afghanistan would much prefer jobs, women want to be able to work, and all girls deserve to go to school. Allowing the economy to function normally is the surest way out of the crisis, otherwise suffering will grow where crops cannot,” she added.

The upcoming harvest will bring some relief to millions of families struggling with income losses and food shortages. However, for many, the harvest will only offer short-term relief and very little opportunity for recovery. The war in Ukraine continues to put pressure on Afghanistan’s wheat supply, food commodities, agricultural inputs and fuel prices. Access to seeds, fertilizer and water for irrigation is limited, labor opportunities are scarce and enormous debts have been incurred to buy food over the last few months.

Both FAO and the U.N. World Food Programme continue to scale up their programs across the country. The U.N. World Food Programme has reached more than 16 million people so far in 2022 with emergency food assistance and is supporting local markets – working with retailers and local suppliers. The U.N. World Food Programme continues to invest in people’s livelihoods through skills training and climate adaption projects so that families can cultivate their land and grow their own food.

FAO continues to scale up its assistance to farmers and herders in rural areas and will assist more than 9 million people in 2022 through a range of interventions supporting crop, livestock and vegetable production, cash transfers, and the rehabilitation of vital irrigation infrastructure and systems.

Supporting agriculture is a cost-effective and strategic intervention that delivers great short-term impact as lifesaving support, while paving the way for longer-term recovery and sustainable development.

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook @FAOnews, @FAOAfghanistan and @FAO

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA, @wfp_media and @WFP_Afghanistan

Grantees — all focused on elevating Afghan girls’ education — include Lamia Afghan Foundation, Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation and School of Leadership Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON, DC (March 8, 2022)—World Food Program USA announces three new grantees for The Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education: Lamia Afghan Foundation, Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation and School of Leadership Afghanistan. With women and girls disproportionately impacted by hunger, the Bertini Fund works to empower them with the knowledge, training, and leadership skills necessary to achieve food security and reach their full potential.

The Lamia Afghan Foundation is an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to helping the children and disadvantaged people of Afghanistan by providing humanitarian aid, educational opportunities, and vocational training that will create opportunities for the next generation of Afghans that were unavailable or out of reach for their parents.

“This generous grant will allow us to have ten schools for girls in a protected and safe environment. They will be able to study beyond the sixth grade even though the Taliban has said that is the limit for public schooling for girls,” said President and CEO of the Lamia Afghan Foundation John Bradley, Lieutenant General, U.S. Air Force (Retired). “We have educated tens of thousands of girls in the fourteen years of our foundation work. The Taliban may be in control of the government now, but the education they received cannot be taken from these girls.”

Founded in 2007 by humanitarian, social innovator and Afghan native Razia Jan, Razia’s Ray of Hope is supported by a global team of women leaders and visionaries committed to peace. The Foundation knows that community-based, culturally aware education is a critical pathway toward meaningful change for future generations. Founded on the knowledge that education is key to positive, peaceful change for current and future generations, Razia’s Ray of Hope provides young Afghans with the opportunity to learn in a safe, nurturing environment.

“The Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education’s investment in our teacher training program helps to ensure the sustainability of Afghan girls’ education, and we could not be more grateful. Educated girls show the world the value of a dowry is nothing compared to that of a diploma,” said Razia Jan, Founder of Razia’s Ray of Hope.

The School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA)’s mission is to provide Afghan girls with an environment where they can focus on their education and reach their potential in a way that is unprecedented in Afghanistan. SOLA can provide a safe and nurturing space in which to learn, where students can go from believing their role in society is to raise a family to navigating the world as critical thinkers and leaders who understand that they have the power to shape their nation’s future.

“The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan has imperiled the educations of millions of Afghan girls–not only girls still living in Afghanistan, but also those now dispersed worldwide in refugee camps. We’ve recently launched our 2022 admissions season at SOLA, and this grant will broaden our ability to specifically reach out to Afghan girls in these camps and to ultimately bring dozens of them to our Rwanda campus to continue their schooling this fall, ” said SOLA founder Shabana Basij-Rasikh.

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About World Food Program USA

World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and support help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit  wfpusa.org/mission-history.

About the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education

After winning the World Food Prize in 2003, Catherine Bertini, the former executive director for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), recognized an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for women’s empowerment. Bertini used her winnings to establish the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education, a fund that supports innovative grassroots initiatives around the globe that boost access to training and educational opportunities for girls.

Media Contact:  
Toula Athas
World Food Program USA
tathas@wfpusa.org

KABUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is rapidly ramping up humanitarian operations in Afghanistan to assist more than 23 million people facing severe hunger in the country in 2022, as inflation and currency depreciation make it even more difficult to feed themselves. The U.N. World Food Programme has assisted 15 million people so far in 2021, with 7 million assisted in November alone – up from 4 million in September.

The U.N. World Food Programme has also been able to preposition food in strategic locations across the northeast and central highlands of the country where heavy winter snows can cut off communities from assistance. This will ensure that the U.N. World Food Programme can provide a lifeline to areas that would otherwise be cut off.

“Afghanistan is facing an avalanche of hunger and destitution the likes of which I have never seen in my twenty plus years with the U.N. World Food Programme,” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, U.N. World Food Programme country director in Afghanistan.

“I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve so far, but the needs are enormous and we have a huge amount to do to stop this crisis from becoming a catastrophe. We urgently need $220 million a month in 2022 to assist 23 million Afghans,” she warned.

According to the latest U.N. World Food Programme phone surveys, an estimated 98 percent of Afghans are not consuming enough food – a worrisome 17 percent rise since August. The spiraling economic crisis, conflict and drought has meant the average family can now barely cope.

Families are resorting to desperate measures as the bitter winter sets in; nine in every ten households are now buying less expensive food, eight in ten are eating less and seven in ten are borrowing food to get by.

  • In November, the U.N. World Food Programme assisted more than 7 million people, dispatching over 50,000 metric tons of food – almost double the dispatches in September. In 2021, the U.N. World Food Programme has dispatched more than 200,000 metric tons of food.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme has increased its storage capacity by 40 percent (to 88,000 metric tons) since August.
  • In 2021 so far, the U.N. World Food Programme has assisted more than 15 million people across all 34 provinces in the country. In 2022, the U.N. World Food Programme will provide food and cash assistance for 23 million people in every province.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) is providing a regional air bridge linking Pakistan and Tajikistan to Kabul, and domestic services across the country to transport humanitarian responders to the frontlines of the crisis. UNHAS has operated 2,497 flights in 2021, serving 13,577 passengers from 153 humanitarian organizations.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme is working to provide nutrition treatment and malnutrition prevention for 1.6 million children, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme is working to provide school meals, take-home rations and cash transfers for 1 million children across the country.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme is working to provide training in vocational skills and environmental management for 1.1 million people.

Broadcast quality footage available here.

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The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA, @wfp_media and @wfp_Afghanistan

“The World Cannot Turn Its Back as the Afghan People Starve.” WFP in a Race Against Time to Stave off a Hunger Catastrophe.

ROME/KABUL – More than half the population of Afghanistan – a record 22.8 million people – will face acute food insecurity from November, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report issued today by the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster of Afghanistan, co-led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

The combined impacts of drought, conflict, COVID-19 and the economic crisis have severely affected lives, livelihoods and people’s access to food. The report’s findings come as Afghanistan’s harsh winter looms, threatening to cut off areas of the country where families desperately depend on humanitarian assistance to survive the freezing winter months.

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report has found that more than one in two Afghans will be facing crisis (IPC Phase 3) or emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of acute food insecurity through the November 2021 to March 2022 lean season, requiring urgent humanitarian interventions to meet basic food needs, protect livelihoods and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

The report also notes that this is the highest number of acutely food insecure people ever recorded in the ten years the UN has been conducting IPC analyses in Afghanistan. Globally, Afghanistan is home to one of the largest number of people in acute food insecurity in both absolute and relative terms

“It is urgent that we act efficiently and effectively to speed up and scale up our delivery in Afghanistan before winter cuts off a large part of the country, with millions of people – including farmers, women, young children and the elderly – going hungry in the freezing winter. It is a matter of life or death. We cannot wait and see humanitarian disasters unfolding in front of us – it is unacceptable!” said QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General.

“Afghanistan is now among the world’s worst humanitarian crises – if not the worst – and food security has all but collapsed. This winter, millions of Afghans will be forced to choose between migration and starvation unless we can step up our lifesaving assistance, and unless the economy can be resuscitated. We are on a countdown to catastrophe and if we don’t act now, we will have a total disaster on our hands,” said David Beasley, U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director.

“Hunger is rising and children are dying. We can’t feed people on promises – funding commitments must turn into hard cash, and the international community must come together to address this crisis, which is fast spinning out of control,” Beasley warned.

Hunger Spreads From Rural to Urban Areas

The IPC report reflects a 37 percent increase in the number of Afghans facing acute hunger since the last assessment issued in April 2021. Among those at risk are 3.2 million children under 5 who are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year. In October, the U.N. World Food Programme and UNICEF warned that 1 million children were at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition without immediate lifesaving treatment.

For the first time, urban residents are suffering from food insecurity at similar rates to rural communities, marking the shifting face of hunger in the country. Rampant unemployment and the liquidity crisis mean that all major urban centers are projected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity, including formerly middle-class populations.

In rural areas, the severe impact of the second drought in four years continues to impact the livelihoods of 7.3 million people who rely on agriculture and livestock to survive.

Current Funding a Drop in the Ocean

FAO and the U.N. World Food Programme have been alerting the world to huge funding shortfalls and the need for urgent action by the international community before it is too late. Immediate financial support is now crucial to meet the most basic humanitarian needs as Afghans confront winter with no jobs, cash, or prospects, just as another La Niña event is on the horizon meaning this year’s drought conditions are likely to extend into 2022.

To meet the scale of needs, the UN will need to mobilize resources at unprecedented levels. The UN’s Humanitarian Response Plan remains only a third funded. The U.N. World Food Programme in planning to ramp up its humanitarian assistance as we enter 2022 to meet the food and nutrition needs of almost 23 million people in Afghanistan. To meet the task at hand the U.N. World Food Programme may require as much as $220 million per month.

Since the beginning of 2021, the U.N. World Food Programme has provided food, cash and nutrition assistance to 10.3 million people, including malnutrition treatment and prevention programs for nearly 400,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women, and 790,000 children under 5.

FAO continues to deliver vital emergency livelihood interventions at scale in Afghanistan, providing lifesaving support and cash assistance to farmers and livestock owning households who comprise 70 percent of the total population, so they can remain productive.  More than 3.5 million people will be supported this year, with FAO reaching over more than 330,000 in August and September alone.

Amid worsening drought, FAO is seeking $11.4 million in urgent funding for its humanitarian response and is seeking a further $200 million for the agricultural season into 2022. FAO is now distributing wheat cultivation packages, including high quality and locally-supplied seeds, fertilizers and training. This campaign is expected to benefit 1.3 million people across 27 out of 34 provinces of the country in the coming weeks.

Note to editors:

IPC Report brief can be accessed here & IPC Snapshot here.

Broadcast quality footage available here.

Photos available here.

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. FAO supports the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no-one behind. That includes addressing acute levels of food insecurity, providing agricultural and pastoralist communities with support so they can continue to produce food, earn income, and save their livelihoods.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA, @wfp_media and @WFP_Afghanistan

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