Tuesday September 24, 2019

World Food Program: Funding squeeze leaves 40% of Afghans food insecure

Lack of funding from the international community, increased instability and conflicts are some of the major causes for food inacessibility

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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. Source: Wikimedia commons

ISLAMABAD, September 2, 2016: The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) has warned that 40 percent of Afghanistan’s population, i.e. 11.3 million people, are food insecure, while more than 40 percent Afghani children under five years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition.

WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin issued the warning Friday at the conclusion of her four-day maiden visit to the war-ravaged country, the first by a WFP chief in 13 years, to “implore” the donor community to continue their support despite the squeeze on funding because of new global crises.

“This not the time for the international community to turn away from the needs of the people of Afghanistan,” she told reporters in Kabul.

While WFP has already reached almost two million of the most vulnerable Afghans with food and cash assistance, Cousin said, the organization needs $50 million in donor funding to reach another 1.6 million people through the end of this year.

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source: Wikipedia.org
source: Wikipedia.org

“It is the funding challenges and a turning away of the international community, or reduction in support by the international community for the activities here in Afghanistan, which will limit our ability to perform the work that is required,” Cousin said when asked what was the biggest concern for WFP’s Afghan mission.

She noted that the 3.6 million Afghans who the WFP is trying to help do not include thousands of refugee families who have returned or are in the process of returning home from neighboring Pakistan this year.

“Many of them come across with nothing, without the ability to meet the food assistance needs of their families,” said the WFP head, adding that her organization is working with other partners to meet the needs of returnees.

UN food delivery. Source: Wikipedia.org
UN food delivery. Source: Wikipedia.org

Cousin admitted that increased instability and conflict in some Afghan areas has forced WFP to suspend program operations periodically throughout the year.

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“The answer to terrorism and conflict is hope and opportunity provided by sustainable, durable economic opportunity and prosperity where every parent can access the food that they required to feed their children,” she said.

Afghanistan’s northern provinces are traditionally inaccessible for aid deliveries during winter months, and the spread of fighting to those areas in recent months has added to the challenges facing aid groups. (VOA)

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Smokers Who Quit Do Not Generally Turn their Gaze Towards Mouth-Watering Food as Normally Thought

The results suggest that smoking abstinence does not affect the motivation for food and water

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Smokers, Quit, Food
We found that the motivations for cigarettes, food and water do not interact very much. Pixabay

Smokers who quit or abstain for whatever reason do not generally turn their gaze towards mouth-watering food as normally thought. According to researchers from University at Buffalo, smoking abstinence doesn’t greatly affect the motivation for food.

“We found that the motivations for cigarettes, food and water do not interact very much,” said Stephen Tiffany from the university’s department of psychology.

“The results suggest that smoking abstinence does not affect the motivation for food and water”.

The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, used cues and actual money to learn how much smokers might spend for cigarettes, food and water during abstinence.

Smokers, Quit, Food
Smokers who quit or abstain for whatever reason do not generally turn their gaze towards mouth-watering food as normally thought. Pixabay

The results provide new insights for how different systems control motivation and reward.

Food does not become more appealing during those times when a smoker is in a smoke-free environment or otherwise can’t smoke.

“If you’re on an airplane and can’t smoke, you’re not likely to be spending more money than usual on snacks,” said Tiffany.

For the current study, 50 participants, all smokers who had abstained for 12 hours, had money to spend on their choices.

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Tiffany and Jennifer Betts, the study’s co-author, sat those participants in front of a box with a sliding door.

Inside the box was one of three items: their favourite brand of cigarette, a candy bar they previously acknowledged as liking, or a cup of water.

During the study, non-abstinent smokers spent more money for cigarettes than for food. And more money for food than for water.

Abstinent smokers spent even more for cigarettes, but they didn’t spend for food or for water.

Smokers, Quit, Food
According to researchers from University at Buffalo, smoking abstinence doesn’t greatly affect the motivation for food. Pixabay

“When people are abstinent from cigarettes their craving tends to go up, but they don’t become hypersensitive to the cue,” said Tiffany.

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People don’t relapse randomly. They relapse in the presence of opportunities to use which can be triggered by cues, the researchers noted. (IANS)