New York [US], February 26 (ANI): More than 24 million people in Afghanistan require lifesaving assistance, which is a staggering 30 per cent increase since 2021, said United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric at a press briefing on Friday (local time).
Dujarric informed that a group of eight senior emergency experts from UN agencies and international non-governmental organizations called for life-saving humanitarian action in Afghanistan on Friday after a five-day mission to the country.
"The emergency experts said they witnessed an enormity of human suffering in Afghanistan, but that they also saw humanitarian organizations able to scale up operations despite massive operational constraints, including the ongoing banking and liquidity crisis," he said.
The UN spokesperson said that according to its humanitarian colleagues, more than 24 million people, that is, 59 per cent of the Afghan population requires lifesaving assistance in the country. Notably, this is a staggering 30 per cent increase since 2021.
The Afghanistan humanitarian response plan this year, which is the largest humanitarian appeal ever launched for a single country, calls for USD 4.44 billion to provide aid to over 22 million people, according to the UN spokesperson who further informed that it is only 13 per cent funded.
Dujarric further said that the head of UNICEF [United Nations Children's Fund], Catherine Russell, who recently concluded a three-day trip to Afghanistan, observed children begging in the streets of Kabul and cases of severe acute malnutrition in the country.
The Taliban's swift ascension to power in Afghanistan occurred in mid-August, triggering economic disarray and a dire humanitarian crisis.
The economy in Afghanistan has been collapsing, leading to mass starvation that is, in turn, creating an enormous and destabilizing new wave of refugees -- and raising a clear need for extensive spending on humanitarian relief. (ANI)