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European Union contributes to WFP operations in Afghanistan

European Union's EUR 25 Million Humanitarian Aid Bolsters World Food Programme's Lifesaving Efforts Amid Afghanistan's Dire Hunger Crisis

KABUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a EUR 25 million (US$26.6 million) contribution for humanitarian aid from the European Union (EU). This funding will help WFP deliver food assistance to hungry families – including displaced – across the country. It will also support WFP in preventing and treating malnutrition in young children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and keep the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in the air.
“One in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from and communities are facing a harsh winter at times when the country reels from a battered economy, devastating earthquakes and most recently forced returns from Pakistan,” said François Goemans, head of EU humanitarian aid operations in Afghanistan. “The European Union stands with the people of Afghanistan who need life-saving assistance for survival.”Severe drought conditions in the country have led to below average harvests for three years in a row, and the economic crisis forces countless families to adopt negative coping strategies to survive. In rural areas, families have sold their last remaining assets – seeds, cattle, and farming tools. In cities, one in three families has no livelihood opportunities and is desperate for jobs.

“Needs in Afghanistan before winter are high and hunger affects one third of the people amid high levels of malnutrition,” said Hsiao-Wei Lee, WFP Country Director in Afghanistan. “This contribution from the European Union humanitarian aid comes at a critical moment when we still have a window of opportunity to reach the most vulnerable families before snow and ice cut off entire communities.”

With 25,000 passengers a year, UNHAS is vital to help aid workers reach remote communities and to transport humanitarian cargo in a country with no reliable and safe commercial flight options. From January to end of September 2023, WFP has been able to reach more than 17 million food-insecure people across the country through all of WFP’s activities. Of those assisted, 8.6 million were women and girls.

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