The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that around 3.2 million children will suffer from acute malnutrition in Afghanistan by the end of this year, of whom 1 million are at risk of dying from malnutrition and temperature drops. .
Aid agencies have warned of famine as drought coincides with an economic crisis following the withdrawal of Western financial support following the Taliban takeover in August. The health sector has been particularly affected, with many health workers fleeing due to unpaid salaries.
“It is an uphill battle as hunger invades this country,” WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told Geneva-based reporters by phone from the capital Kabul on Friday.
“The world must not and cannot turn its back on Afghanistan,” he added.
Harris said nighttime temperatures have fallen below zero degrees Celsius and cooler temperatures are expected to make older people and young people more susceptible to other illnesses. In some places, people are cutting trees to provide fuel to hospitals amid widespread scarcity,
He did not have a figure on how many children had died from malnutrition but described the room as full of small children, including with a seven-month-old baby who he said was smaller than a newborn.
Measles cases are on the rise in the country and WHO data shows 24,000 clinical cases have been reported so far.
“For malnourished children, measles is a death sentence. We will see more deaths if we do not act quickly,” he said. (Straitstimes / OL-13)
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