WHO says 3.2 million Afghan children are at risk of acute malnutrition

WHO says 3.2 million Afghan children are at risk of acute malnutrition

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 3.2 million children in Afghanistan will suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year, of whom 1 million are at risk of dying from falling temperatures .

Aid agencies have warned of drought-induced famine as the economy collapses following the withdrawal of financial support from the West after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August.

The country’s health sector has been hit particularly hard, with many health workers fleeing due to unpaid salaries.

“It is an uphill battle because hunger is sweeping this country. The world must not ignore Afghanistan,” WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told Geneva-based reporters by telephone on Friday. from the capital Kabul.

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In Afghanistan, nighttime temperatures are dropping below zero degrees Celsius and cooler temperatures are expected to make young and old more vulnerable to other diseases, Harris said.

In some places, people are cutting trees to provide fuel to hospitals amid widespread scarcity.

Harris did not have a figure on the number of children who died from malnutrition but described “a room full of small children,” including with a seven month old baby he called “smaller than a new one.” not”.

Measles cases are on the rise in Afghanistan and WHO data shows 24,000 clinical cases have been reported to date.

“For malnourished children, measles is a death sentence. We’ll see more deaths if we don’t act quickly,” Harris said.


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