Afghans among those in serious need of food, says UN

By Salaam Times and AFP

A child and an old man scavenge for scrap metals in Kabul on July 26. [Daniel Leal/AFP]

A child and an old man scavenge for scrap metals in Kabul on July 26. [Daniel Leal/AFP]

PARIS -- Some 258 million people needed emergency food aid last year because of conflict, economic shocks and climate disasters, a United Nations (UN) report said Wednesday (May 3), a sharp rise from 193 million the previous year.

"More than a quarter of a billion people are now facing acute levels of hunger, and some are on the brink of starvation. That's unconscionable," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

It was "a stinging indictment of humanity's failure to make progress... to end hunger, and achieve food security and improved nutrition for all," he said.

More than 40% of those in serious need of food lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Yemen, the UN report said.

"Conflicts and mass displacement continue to drive global hunger," Guterres said.

"Rising poverty, deepening inequalities, rampant underdevelopment, the climate crisis and natural disasters also contribute to food insecurity."

In 2022, 258 million people faced high levels of acute food insecurity in 58 countries or territories, up from 193 million in 53 countries the previous year, the report said.

This overall figure has now increased for the fourth consecutive year in a row.

Deteriorating economy

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) said earlier on April 18 that about 34 million Afghans are living below the poverty line.

That figure is a staggering increase -- nearly double -- from the last recorded estimate of 19 million in 2020.

There are no contemporary census data for Afghanistan, but the UN uses a population estimate of 40 million, meaning 85% of the nation is projected to be in poverty.

"Some have been compelled to sell their homes, land or assets that generate income," the UNDP report said.

"Others have resorted to the distressing practice of commodifying their own family members, turning children into labourers and young daughters into brides."

The economic situation could deteriorate further, Khairullah Hashimi, an economic analyst based in Türkiye, told Salaam Times on April 28.

"[Afghanistan's] economic cycle has stalled from the unemployment of hundreds of thousands of people, and all of society has been impacted by its effects," he added.

"Unemployment has hit schoolteachers, university professors, employees of nongovernmental organisations [NGOs], journalists and workers of private companies," he said.

"Additionally, even though some [Afghans] have jobs, they do not make enough income. These situations have all contributed to the stagnation of the market," said Hashimi.

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If we had not fought, why would we be like this? Children who beg and do hard work should have attended schools and seminaries. Those older adults who now look for old metals should have been worshiping and praying regularly. Instead of retiring now, these older men were not allowed to get an education in their time. Those youth who would have spent their energy in their own country and built their own country go to foreign countries and spend their childhood serving foreigners and making their country. We are genuinely lovable people. Why would the elders, youths, and children have suffered so much if not? It's still early. If we want a good life for future generations and to fill our stomachs, we should not tell alien stories and free ourselves from them.


May Allah have mercy on our people. Such a senior man who gathers the old metals should sit in the mosque and pray. The wars of the past four and a half decades have taken many of our values from us. Our religious values, our national values, our local values, our many things have been looted from us. Now an older man, who should have been sitting in a place of honor, is working in a dirty business. Another misfortune is that a small child works alongside the old. Such children should have a peaceful and comfortable life, they should go to school, learn science, learn technology, learn art, learn music, and learn Quran and Hadith, but many children of our current generation are doing dirty work that they are not and find a lot of food for the family. The reason is that the heads of the families were killed in the wars. In Afghanistan, the interests of Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China, Britain, America, and Europe are fighting, and the victims of the war and the fuels are our unfortunate people. May Allah have mercy on our people and country. Amen


In Afghanistan, hunger is increasing day by day. Afghan people do not have access to enough food. Most families cannot eat enough food, and most families cannot find food at all. Afghan people's economy is getting worse from day to today. If it were not for the humanitarian aid of the United Nations, the poor people of Afghanistan would face many problems due to food hunger. In almost 2 years, the United Nations has given a lot of aid to the poor people of Afghanistan. The poor people of Afghanistan can never ignore these humanitarian aid from the United Nations.