UNICEF reported that almost 3.2 million Afghan children under the age of 5 may suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of 2021. Here’s more on the fate of young lives in Afghanistan.
Afghan children at risk
A new UN assessment from UNICEF representative Hervé Ludovic De Lys and Mary-Ellen McGroarty, the World Food Programme (WFP) representative’s visited the country. Their assessment conferred that a minimum of one million children in the country is on the death’s list “due to severe acute malnutrition without immediate treatment”. Additionally, the worrying WFP survey revealed that 95 percent of households in Afghan were not consuming food. The adults skipped meals so that the children could be fed.
De Lys and McGroarty visited Herat and met with families in addition to assessing their food distribution centers. The agencies are currently knee-deep in setting up nutrition teams and mobile health units for mothers and children. According to Mary-Elen McGroarty, the citizens were making ‘desperate choices’ for the sake of their families. In addition, they are pleading with international organizations to release funds earlier.
The present situation in Afghanistan
“As more families struggle to put food on the table, the nutritional health of mothers and their children is getting worse by the day,” stated Hervé Ludovic De Lys. “Children are getting sicker and their families are less and less able to get them the treatment they need. Rapidly spreading outbreaks of measles and acute watery diarrhea will only exacerbate the situation,” he added.
Antonio Guterres, the Chief of the UN urged the international community to engage with the new Taliban government. After all, this could be one ray of hope and a ‘lifeline’ for the Afghans. However, McGroarty believes that if not followed, the “impact could be irreversible”.
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