UN warns of large-scale starvation in Afghanistan

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Kabul, April 16: War-ravaged Afghanistan requires urgent cash donations of $250 million to get more supplies, failing which more than seven million people will be forced to stay hungry, warned the United Nations on April 15.

In a statement on April 15, Louis Imbleau, the Afghanistan director of United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said, "We are making this appeal to give us the best possible chance of plugging the looming gaps in supply."

The statement also informed that among those who are likely to be left starving, the majority comprises of women and children and most importantly that accounts for nearly one-fourth of the country's population.

The World Food Programme also said that only half of the stockpiles needed for the year was assured and unless the aid comes soon, people would be left to starve after June, the months after which summer gets hotter and hence food consumption goes up.

WFP also said that supplies of pulses and vegetable oil will run short after the month of July and if fresh stocks don't appear soon then it will have to reduce school feeding programs by mid June.

Wheat is the main staple crop of Afghanistan and the country needs nearly 5.2 million tonnes a year to feed the population. Even the government of the war-ravaged country had earlier in 2011 predicted that it could face a shortage of nearly 1.2 million tonne wheat in the stockpile.

The country has been completely devastated after the US-led NATO forces began a war against Taliban and terrorists in 2001 to avenge the 9/11 attacks. Ever since the prolonged war has seen the fall of the Taliban government and as the NATO forces are chalking out a plan to leave the country, the democratically elected government in the country has a hard task at hand to completely rebuild the country from its ruins.

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