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UN officials say rural Afghans have a significant need for assistance | National

United Nations (AP) — 4 million Afghans face a “food emergency”, the majority of which will be secured for winter wheat planting, livestock feed, and cash assistance to vulnerable people. I live in a rural area where $ 36 million is urgently needed for several months. UN officials said Tuesday that they targeted families, the elderly and people with disabilities.

Rein Paulsen, director of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Emergency and Resilience Office, told reporters at UN headquarters in a video briefing from Kabul that 70% of Afghans live in rural areas and 25 Afghans. He said there was a serious drought affecting 7.3 million people. 34 states of the country. He said these vulnerable rural communities were also suffering from a pandemic.

Paulsen said four million Afghans face a humanitarian emergency characterized by “extreme food consumption gaps, very high levels of acute malnutrition, and excessive mortality.”

He said agriculture is “essential” to the Afghan population. He said it accounts for more than 25% of the country’s GDP and directly employs about 45% of the workforce, “and most importantly, it provides a livelihood benefit to a full 80% of Afghanistan’s population.” Said.

He said that while many vulnerable families depend on livestock for food, three million animals are at risk as a result of left behind poorly drought pastures.

Paulsen said Afghanistan’s most important winter wheat planting season is threatened by “cash and banking system challenges” and market and agricultural challenges.

Since the Taliban takeover on August 15, there has been growing concern that Afghanistan may face an economic collapse. Many banks are closed, open banks have restricted cash withdrawals, and staple prices are rising.

“More than half of Afghanistan’s daily calorie intake comes from wheat,” Paulsen said. “Crops are simply essential from a food security standpoint,” and farmers must now start planting.

“FAO has the resources to support an additional 1.25 million Afghans, but we need more,” he said. “Seeds can’t wait, farmers can’t wait. This window is currently in urgent scale and needs help from donors.”

He said FAO’s package of wheat, fertilizer and support for single farmers would cost $ 150.

“For $ 150, a family of seven Afghans produces 1.2 million tonnes of wheat. They produce enough wheat to feed grain and flour for 12 months,” Paulsen said. I am. That $ 150 is “very influential and very cost-effective, and emphasizes why it’s imperative not to miss this winter wheat season,” he added.

He also said that more than 400,000 Afghans have been expelled from their homes, mainly from rural areas. “And their numbers are increasing.” He said keeping farmers in their fields and nomads with their herds is important to prevent a deepening evacuation crisis.

Paulson warned that if agriculture collapsed further, it would cause malnutrition, increase mobility and exacerbate humanity.

According to Paulsen, the 2021 FAO has helped nearly 2 million Afghans with livelihood and cash aid.

He said the $ 36 million that FAO urgently needs during the winter farming season is part of the $ 606 million UN emergency appeal. At a conference in Geneva on Monday, donors promised $ 1.2 billion. This is twice the amount required, and Paulsen called it encouraged.

FAO wants to fully cover the $ 36 million pledge it needs, but Paulsen said they are only promises so far and donors need to provide cash quickly. ..

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

UN officials say rural Afghans have a significant need for assistance | National

Source link UN officials say rural Afghans have a significant need for assistance | National

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