Donation from Catalan Cooperation Agency boosts WFP's efforts to fight malnutrition in Afghanistan
KABUL – As Afghanistan faces record high malnutrition rates, a EUR 290,000 contribution from the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD) is helping the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to reach acutely malnourished children and mothers across the country. Thanks to this funding, more than 8,000 malnourished women and children in the areas of highest need will be supported with specialised nutritious foods for treatment of malnutrition by the end of the year.
“We are seeing the highest levels of moderate acute malnutrition ever recorded in Afghanistan. Today, 3.9 million children and 800,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women are acutely malnourished,” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, WFP Representative and Country Director.
After one year of unprecedented economic hardship and environmental disasters like earthquakes and flooding, vulnerable families across the country have lost their livelihoods and largely exhausted their means to feed themselves. Nearly 19 million people do not know where their next meal will come from and 6 million of them are facing Emergency levels of hunger (IPC Phase 4) and only one step away from famine.
“The record malnutrition rates we are seeing in Afghanistan go hand in hand with unprecedented levels of hunger. Life for most Afghans continues to be unbearably hard, particularly for women and girls,” said McGroarty.
“We thank Catalonia for this generous contribution that expresses solidarity and strong commitment to life-saving nutrition treatment for the women and children of Afghanistan,” she added.
Malnutrition in pregnancy can lead to many risks and complications, including stillbirths, low birthweights, and developmental delays. It can also become a cyclical pattern through generations, as problems at birth due to lack of essential nutrients can lead to lifelong consequences.
Between January and June 2022, WFP’s nutritional programmes reached over 690,000 malnourished children and over 435,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women. WFP aims to reach more than 1 million children under the age of five and more than 500,000 pregnant and nursing women by the end of the year.
In 2022, WFP has reached more than 21 million people with food, nutrition and livelihoods support in the country, but is currently facing a US$ 960 million shortfall to sustain operations over the next six months, including prepositioning food ahead of the winter for rugged and remote communities.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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