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UN says rural Afghans have critical need for aid

PTI United Nations | Updated on September 15, 2021

An Afghan man waves the flag of the former Afghan government during the anti-Pakistan protest in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 7   -  VIA REUTERS

‘Severe drought is affecting 7.3 million people in 25 of the country’s 34 provinces, rural communities’

A UN official says 4 million Afghans are facing “a food emergency,” with the majority in rural areas where there is a critical need for funding for planting winter wheat, feed for livestock and cash assistance for vulnerable families, elderly and disabled.

The director of the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Office of Emergencies and Resilience said Tuesday in a video briefing from Kabul says 70 per cent of Afghans live in rural areas and agriculture is indispensable to the Afghan population.

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Rein Paulson says it represents just over 25 per cent of Afghanistan’s GDP, directly employs 45 per cent of the work force, “and most importantly it provides livelihood benefits for fully 80 per cent of the Afghan population.”

He says a severe drought is affecting 7.3 million people in 25 of the country’s 34 provinces and rural communities also have been hurt by the pandemic. He says 4 million Afghans are facing a humanitarian emergency characterised by “extreme gaps in food consumption, very high levels of acute malnutrition and excess mortality.”

Published on September 15, 2021

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