TOLOnews interview with WFP’s Mary-Ellen McGroarty

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In an interview with TOLOnews, Mary-Ellen McGroarty, the WFP’s representative and country director for Afghanistan, stated that the country’s economy is deteriorating and that 19 million people are in need of food assistance.

The official of the World Food Program (WFP) noted that in order to assist and address the hunger of people in the food insecure areas of Afghanistan, WFP needs international support.

“We had a massive scale-up over the winter. As you know, the winters are very harsh in Afghanistan. So, our focus was really on getting food assistance to rural communities, into remote areas for the winter. And then across the summer, because the harvest is coming in, we scaled back a little bit, so we are scaled back to about ten million people a month,” she said.

According to McGroarty, WFP has helped 20 million people in Afghanistan so far.

The provinces of Ghor, Bamyan, Badakhshan, and Badghis, according to Mary-Ellen McGroarty, are in extreme need, and she said that the institution will enhance its aid to the poor in the upcoming months.

“That is why it costs so much, we are out there every single month. You know what we are doing this year for those people who are in the most severe food impacted areas, you saw the classifications … they receive food assistance over 12 months,” she added.

A young woman spoke to TOLOnews about the economic difficulty: Mursal has a degree from a university. To make a living, she has set up a shop next to a road in Kabul and is currently selling. She formerly worked at a private company, and she supports a family of six.

“I do not have a job. I came here due to unemployment, so that I can come up with some cash to pay our rent, our electricity and water bills, our food, and our clothing,” she stated.

According to the priorities determined by the World Food Program’s food security assessment committee in Afghanistan, aid is distributed monthly to ten million people. Based on this organization’s analysis, 18.9 million people suffer from extreme hunger, and helping homeless women, disabled families, and needy families are WFP’s priority, the organization says.—Tolonews

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