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UN to reduce food aid, cash payments to Afghanistan amid 'funding crisis'

Carl Skau, the Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Program said apart from Afghanistan, these countries include Syria, Yemen, and West Africa

United Nations

During this time of crisis, acute hunger has reached record levels, reported Khaama Press

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The United Nations' World Food Program claimed that at least 38 out of 86 countries, including Afghanistan, where the WFP operates have either witnessed cuts in aid or have plans to do so shortly, reported Khaama Press.
Carl Skau, the Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Program said apart from Afghanistan, these countries include Syria, Yemen, and West Africa.
He said that the UN has been dealing with a 'crippling funding crisis', forcing it to reduce food, cash payments and hence support to millions of people in numerous countries. The UN's donation has fallen by roughly half, reported Khaama Press, citing a top official of the UN.
During this time of crisis, acute hunger has reached record levels, reported Khaama Press.
According to Skau, the WFP needs USD 20 billion in operating funds to provide aid to everyone in need. But, it has received somewhere between USD 10 billion and USD 14 billion in recent years.
"We are still aiming at that, but we have only so far this year gotten to about half of that, around USD 5 billion," Skau said.
The WFP was obliged to reduce food supplies for eight million people which makes 66 per cent of the population it was assisting in May after being asked to reduce them for communities in Afghanistan facing emergency levels of hunger in March, Skau added.
"Now, it is helping just 5 million people. In Syria, 5.5 million people who relied on WFP for food were already on 50 per cent rations, Skau said, and in July, the agency cut all rations to 2.5 million of them," the statement said.
Just 9 per cent of the USD 4.6 billion needed for Afghanistan's initial Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) had been received as of June of this year.
On the other hand, "in the Palestinian territories, WFP cut its cash assistance by 20 per cent in May and in June, and cut its caseload by 60 per cent, or 200,000 people, he said. Moreover, he said a huge funding gap in Yemen would force WFP to cut aid to 7 million people as early as August," it added.
The financial gaps will affect more than 31,500 households with severely undernourished children. the children would be denied access to vital integrated cash packages for nutrition due to a lack of financing.
Additionally, about 2.6 million individuals need access to clean drinking water, 1.5 million miss out on hygiene education, 1.6 million lack necessary non-food items, and 844,000 are exposed to poor sanitation.
However, if funding shortfalls are not filled, WFP has warned that the organization's budget for food assistance will end by the end of October, reported Khaama Press.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jul 31 2023 | 7:26 AM IST

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