Afghanistan is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with a very real risk of systemic collapse and human catastrophe, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated Monday.
In 2023, a staggering 28.3 million people (two thirds of Afghanistan’s population) will need urgent humanitarian assistance in order to survive as the country enters its third consecutive year of drought-like conditions and the second year of crippling economic decline, while still reeling from the effects of 40 years of conflict and recurrent natural disasters, OCHA said in a new report.
“Afghanistan’s economic crisis is widespread, with more than half of households experiencing an economic shock in the last six months,” OCHA stated adding that 17 million people face acute hunger in 2023, including 6 million people at emergency levels of food insecurity, one step away from famine – and one of the highest figures worldwide.
The report stated that within the broader humanitarian access environment, participation in the humanitarian response has deteriorated for Afghan women staff since August 2021. Amid a growing set of restrictions curtailing their basic rights and freedoms, women humanitarian workers face increasingly restrictive challenges affecting their ability to travel to beneficiaries.
“The 24 December 2022 directive barring women from working for national or international NGOs will have a devastating humanitarian impact on millions of people across the country and will prevent millions of vulnerable women and girls from receiving services and life-saving assistance,” OCHA said.
There are needs in every province of the country, with extreme need in 33 out of 34 provinces and 27 out of 34 major cities/provincial capitals with the rest in severe need, indicating how widespread the crisis is across the country, the report stated.—Ariana news