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1 million Afghan children at risk of dying by year-end amid food crisis – WHO

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 Women wearing burqas sit with their children along a road in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Women wearing burqas sit with their children along a road in Kabul, Afghanistan.

AFGHANISTAN: As conditions in Afghanistan continue to worsen in the aftermath of Taliban recapturing the nation following the pullout of the United States and other foreign forces, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that at least one million children in the war-ravaged nation are at the risk of dying by the end of the year as temperatures drop.

According to a Reuters report, the United Nations (UN) health agency said that nearly 3.2 million children are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition in Afghanistan by the end of 2021 of whom one million are at the risk of losing their lives.

“It’s an uphill battle as starvation grips the country,” WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said stressing that the international community “must not and cannot afford” to turn its back to Afghanistan.

Speaking from Kabul, Harris said temperatures at night have begun dipping below zero degrees Celsius and the young are expected to become susceptible to ailments in colder temperatures.

The Reuters report said the WHO spokesperson did not have exact figures on the number of children who have already succumbed to the difficult conditions, but Harris spoke about “wards filled with tiny little children”.

Measles cases have been witnessing a spike in Afghanistan, with WHO data showing as many as 24,000 clinical cases had so far been reported.

Released by the Canada-based think-tank International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), the report added that 95 per cent of Afghans lack access to adequate food, while half of the country’s population are expected to face acute hunger levels as winter sets in.


Monday, November 15, 2021 – 01:00

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