Disaster and foreign aid cuts lead to hard winter choices in parts of Afghanistan

Posted on 01 February 2024

Due to a combination of floods and reduced aid, families in Behsud are now "forced to choose between eating their one meal during the day or at night." Over the past two years, World Food Programme (WFP) assistance, distributed across nearly the entire district, had a significant impact beyond nutrition, keeping children in classrooms instead of working, said Ahmadi, a wheat farmer. 

In 2023, amidst a global aid budget crunch driven by inflation and the war in Ukraine, the UN's humanitarian response plan for Afghanistan received only 45.4% funding, a significant drop from the 75.7% in 2022 and typical levels over the last decade.  

The World Food Programme reported a deepening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan since the Taliban's takeover, caused by job losses, a cash shortage, and escalating prices, resulting in a new class of hungry individuals. With 15.8 million Afghans experiencing food insufficiency, the country stands on the brink of economic collapse, evidenced by the local currency hitting an all-time low and a surge in food prices. Acute malnutrition has surpassed emergency thresholds in 25 out of 34 provinces, with projections indicating a worsening scenario. Nearly half of children under 5 and a quarter of pregnant and breastfeeding women are projected to require life-saving nutrition support in the next 12 months. 

Photo by 12019 via Pixabay


afghanistan Winter Humanitarian Crisis food aid