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WFP mounts first response for families forced to return to Afghanistan as harsh winter looms

KABUL– The United Nations World Food Programme is providing Afghan families who are being forced out of Pakistan with emergency assistance at the border. However, with the harsh winter just around the corner and a significant funding deficit for the operation, assistance to these people hangs in the balance.

Most families crossing the border are arriving hungry, desperate and in need of immediate support. WFP continues to supply all arriving families with fortified biscuits and cash to buy food or other basic necessities. This month, WFP has already assisted 250,000 people.

“WFP’s programme in Afghanistan is already critically underfunded and without additional funding, we will not be able to continue our support to these families who are arriving at the border with nothing but a few basics and some bread for their journey,” said WFP Afghanistan Country Director Hsiao-Wei Lee. “These families arrive at the worst of times and face a bleak future in a country where one third of the people do not know where their next meal will come from. Leaving behind their homes and livelihoods, these families return to start over in a country that gives them few economic opportunities and where many struggle to survive.”

Due to a massive funding shortfall this year, WFP was forced to cut ten million people from its emergency food assistance and can now only support one in five of those in need of support to survive.

“The situation is particularly dire as the harsh winter is only weeks away and the country is still reeling from devastating earthquakes, a battered economy and a worsening climate crisis,” said Lee. “We urgently need US$ 27.5 million to support one million returnees from Pakistan arriving in Afghanistan and help them get through the winter.”

WFP’s assistance in the areas of return includes monthly food rations or cash transfers to help families cover their needs for two weeks and nutrition services for young children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

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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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For more information please contact (email address:

Philippe Kropf, WFP/Kabul,
Mob. +93 707 271 901

Ziauddin Safi, WFP/Kabul,
Mob. +93 706 934 875

Maria Shumusti, WFP/Bangkok,
Mob. +66 631977834