Time is running out for Afghan children who face starvation and need protection

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desert landscape

KABUL/SEATTLE (August 30, 2021) — Children are nearing starvation because there isn’t enough food, and funding for humanitarian relief is not getting through. That’s the dire warning from humanitarian organization World Vision today as it called on the international community to ensure that the survival of Afghan children is given absolute priority.

Currently 2.7 million people face starvation in Afghanistan and almost half of all children are at risk of acute malnutrition. Recent figures show that Afghanistan’s 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan is only 39% funded, meaning $786 million is still desperately needed to support over 18 million Afghans.

Funding must urgently be released so that aid agencies can return to work and address the continuously worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, said Asuntha Charles, World Vision’s national director in Afghanistan.  “Nothing should get in the way of saving children’s lives,” she said.

“Afghan children dream to be educated and enjoy fullness of life. They deserve nothing less,” said Edgar Sandoval Sr., president and CEO of World Vision U.S. “We must act together now to prevent an unprecedented humanitarian disaster and to support the children of Afghanistan and their families in the coming weeks and months.”

World Vision has worked in Afghanistan for 20 years and believes that it is essential for all parties to continue to coordinate and establish a new way of working so that humanitarian workers can safely access and protect the most vulnerable children who desperately need our help now.

The child-focused organization is committed to staying and will resume operations when there is agreement among all parties for safe and secure access to programs, especially in relation to the safety of female humanitarian workers.

“We are working night and day to navigate through this incredibly complex situation, including advocating to those in positions of power and influence over children’s lives,” said Charles.

“We must act now together with partners and communities to prevent an unprecedented humanitarian disaster and to support the children of Afghanistan, their families and communities,” she added. “Reversal of decades of progress in not an option and our commitment to stay and deliver life-saving support remains stronger than ever. We call on world leaders to provide much-needed sustained and flexible funds so that Afghan children who are at risk of starvation and in need of protection, will not be forgotten.”

 

For the past 20 years, through a range of holistic, integrated humanitarian projects that promote change and improve well-being, World Vision has been serving the children, families, and communities in Afghanistan. Every year, over 488,600 children and adults benefit from World Vision Afghanistan’s programs, which currently operate in four provinces and cities throughout Afghanistan.

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.