OCHA highlights Afghanistan’s humanitarian, economic situation in 2023

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in a report highlighted the economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan for the coming year.

The report says that 20 million people will 20 million people face acute hunger by the end of March 2023 and that malnutrition rates will remain extremely high, with four million children and women facing acute malnutrition.

“The deteriorating economy has caused sharp declines in income, rising debt, and high unemployment. Due to a severe increase in commodity prices, people now spend 71 percent of their income on food,” the report reads.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that millions of people around the world were literally swept out of ashes in 2022.

“From Ukraine to Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and beyond, people left the ruins of their homes and lives in search of something better,” Guterres said. “Around the world, one hundred million people were on the move, fleeing wars, wildfires, droughts, poverty and hunger.”

Kabul residents expressed their concerns over their deteriorated situation amid severe winter.

Zakia and her husband have become drug addicts for the past six years. The couple has seven children.

Two of their sons are working as vendors to afford the needs of their families.

“They are saying mother find us something to eat. They are children and they cannot fight with hunger,” Zakia said.

“We are selling plastic bags every day. Sometimes I make money and sometimes I cannot. Usually, I make 40 to 50 Afs,” said Firoz, son of Zakia.

Analysts said humanitarian organizations should focus on investment in Afghanistan.

“We demand the current government and organizations to help us in the field of investment that can create jobs for our people,” said Shabir Bashiri, an analyst in economic affairs.

UN Secretary-General emphasized the need for a better life for people worldwide.

“In 2023, we need peace, now more than ever. Peace with one another, through dialogue to end conflict. Peace with nature and our climate, to build a more sustainable world. Peace in the home, so women and girls can live in dignity and safety,” Guterres said.

Earlier, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies expressed their concerns over the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, saying that many families are unable to afford food and heating materials.—Tolo news