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Afghan children deprived of access to food and wate

The situation in Afghanistan continues to move from bad to worse since the Taliban takeover and the formation of an interim government has prompted the seizure of foreign aid and global recognition.

With each passing day, the humanitarian crisis of the country is surfacing with more severity as lack of provision and access to the basic requirements of food and water have plunged many into starvation, which has lead to the deaths of many young children while hundreds have been treated due to effects of starvation.

"Children are dying of starvation in Afghanistan," said the locals in Ghor, one of the many affected provinces of Afghanistan.

International aid agencies have warned that millions of young children could face major and life-threatening malnutrition by the end of the year if this matter is not addressed on emergency and war footing.

A malnourished Afghan child, weighing 14 pounds (6.4 kg) at 18 months of age, is treated by a US Army medical team member in Paktya, Afghanistan.Wikimedia commons

In Ghor province, at least 17 children have died from malnutrition in the past six months.

Locals say the number of dead is of those, who made it to the hospital and then died, claiming that the situation on the ground is much worse as many have not been able to make it to the hospital and have lost their lives.

"Almost 300 children have been treated for the effects of hunger from the Ghor province only, 17 of who have died," said Mullah Muhammad Ahmadi, Ghor province's Public Health Director.

"Hundreds of children are at risk of starvation in central parts of the country," he added.

Locals in Ghor say that they are in dire condition with almost zero access to water and food, which is leading to major health risks among locals, especially women and children.

"I can tell you that many children have died due to starvation in the recent past. We have no food to feed our children. We have no water. We have no jobs to work and earn for the wellbeing of our families," said Amanullah, a resident of Ghor.

Similar fears have been expressed by the UN Children's Agency (Unicef) in Afghanistan, whose spokesperson stated that a large number of children are paying the price due to malnutrition and starvation.

"I cannot confirm the number of deaths in Ghor but can confirm that a lot of children are paying the ultimate price," he said.

Stamp of Afghanistan of children eating -1964Wikimedia commons

"We are very painfully aware that this is something we are on the brink of, or in the middle of," said Salam Al-Janabi, a representative of Unicef.

The UN has warned that by the end of the year, one million children under the age of five in Afghanistan are expected to need treatment for life-threatening acute severe malnutrition, while another 3.3 million will be suffering from acute malnutrition.

Afghanistan is witnessing itself being plunged into a severe crisis of the already present humanitarian crisis. The Taliban takeover and coming into power has brought with it major challenges, which many believe are putting the capabilities of the regime to test.

The effects of drought, soaring food prices and job losses, coupled with blocked international aid and financing have pushed Afghanistan on the verge of a socioeconomic collapse.

(This news story was originally written by Hamza Ameer for IANS, reporting from ground zero)


Keywords: Afghanistan, Afghan Children, Starvation, Child Rights, UNICEF Afghanistan, Taliban


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