12.2 mn Afghans acutely food insecure: UN

12.2 mn Afghans acutely food insecure: UN
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United Nations, Aug 20: The UN humanitarians have said that the relief crisis in Afghanistan is deteriorating rapidly, with 12.2 million people acutely food insecure.

While thousands of people are fleeing, or attempting to flee, through Kabul airport, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Thursday that 735,000 people returned to the country this year from Iran, Pakistan and other countries and are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

Another 550,000 people became internally displaced since January, reports Xinhua news agency. "Humanitarian needs are expected to deteriorate further in the second half of the year due to drought," it said, adding that the majority of the 12.2 million people acutely food insecure will be further affected by drought.

The humanitarians said severe acute malnutrition increased by 16 per cent, impacting 900,000 people and moderate acute malnutrition increased by 11 per cent, hitting 3.1 million children.

A below-average wheat harvest is expected, and the livestock yield is forecast to be weak due to poor pastures and feed availability, OCHA said. Conflict and drought reduced agricultural activities by 28 per cent, adding to market vulnerability.

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