Afghanistan: 97% of the population “well below” the poverty line by the second semester

“The IRC works in dozens of crisis and conflict situations, but we have not seen an entire country deteriorate so rapidly in recent years. »

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) yesterday published a communicated in which he reveals the situation of the Afghans six months after the takeover by the Taliban. Founded at the call of Albert Einstein in 1933, this organization which helps people affected by humanitarian crises fears that 97% of the population will live well below the poverty line by the second half of this year .

“As freezing winter conditions worsen, millions of families find themselves in dire straits,” the organization said, adding that “almost 23 million Afghans – more than half of the country's population – face acute food insecurity”.

The IRC fears that if this problem is not resolved, the current humanitarian crisis will cause more deaths than 20 years of war.

Vicki Aken, Director of IRC Afghanistan, laments the rapid deterioration.

“The IRC works in dozens of crisis and conflict situations, but we have not seen an entire country deteriorate so rapidly in recent years. »

She then mentions the cessation of non-humanitarian funding by the international community, “which amounted to 40% of GDP and supported 75% of public expenditure, including basic services”.

“This economic crisis is contributing to a catastrophic humanitarian emergency that has left a quarter of the population at risk of starvation – the largest population experiencing such extreme levels of hunger in the world.

Then she bears witness to the unspeakable despair of Afghan families.

“Afghan families are being forced into increasingly desperate survival measures. Mothers and their children sit in the snow, begging for money; parents are forced to sell their daughters into early marriage to bring money to their families. " 

She says, "Right now, every day, Afghans are being punished by international policies that are leaving millions on the brink of starvation."

“Afghanistan's slide towards disaster is mainly driven by the policies of the international community, rather than by conflict or natural disaster. For millions of Afghans, survival depends on their ability to access humanitarian assistance, but humanitarian assistance cannot replace the functions of the state. The drastic aid cuts have been compounded by the freezing of Afghan assets and the confusion over international sanctions that are leading to a financial crisis that affects every corner of Afghan life. Ordinary Afghans need more than help – they need a functioning banking system and economy so that businesses can withdraw money to pay their employees, so that people can earn a living, pay their food in the markets and provide for their families. »

According to Vicki Aken, the next six months will be decisive and “the cost of failure too high”.


Image credit: / Amors photos​​

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