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19 July 2024

UN urges international food aid for 2.5m Afghans

By Agencies

The United Nations (UN) and Afghanistan's government asked donor nations on Thursday to provide $81 million (Dh295.6 million) to help feed over 2.5 million impoverished Afghans hit by the higher cost of wheat flour.

The UN said a sharp rise in global wheat prices had pushed the price of the grain up 58 per cent in Afghanistan over the past year, making hundreds of thousands of families unable to afford the food they need.

Bread is a staple food for a majority of people in Afghanistan and wheat is the most important food crop in the domestic economy, the UN said.

"Dramatic price rises of staple foodstuffs such as wheat flour increase the risk of hunger, as more families find it harder to afford the food they need," said in a statement.

"The appeal aims to help over 2.5 million Afghans at risk from food shortages in rural and urban areas over the coming five months until the next harvest," the UN said.

The top UN official in Afghanistan, Bo Asplund, urged donors to "respond generously to the appeal, to ensure that these families can feed themselves, and so that the most vulnerable, who are predominantly children and women, do not succumb to malnutrition."

Afghanistan is one of the world's poorest countries and is heavily dependent on foreign aid. (AP)