CARE warns of increased risks for women and girls as new report finds nearly half of Afghans now face acute hunger – Afghanistan
A new report reveals that Afghanistan has sunk deeper into an already alarming hunger crisis, exacerbated by drought, increased displacement, rising food prices, the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic decline, with 18.8 million people, almost half of the population, currently facing acute hunger – an increase of almost 30% from the same period last year.
“In many parts of Afghanistan, people resort to extreme measures just to put food on the table – they sell the few assets they have, make hard choices about which family members are in short supply. meals and some even marry their daughters at a young age just so that there is one less mouth to feed. The dramatic rise in the price of wheat between June and September of this year of 28% is extremely worrying and puts the food essential to the lives of so many people, ”said Victor Moses, Country Director of CARE Afghanistan.
CARE conducted a rapid gender analysis in June / July 2021 (RGA) to assess the impact of drought in Afghanistan on gender. One troubling finding was that women and girls were three times less likely to report eating a balanced diet than men, and that they could eat significantly less dairy and meat than men. The RGA also found that gender-based violence, particularly intimate partner violence and child, early and forced marriage, has increased since the onset of the drought. “The uncertainty, hopelessness and stress caused by drought and hunger can lead to increased violence and, devastatingly, women and girls are often at risk,” Moses said.
Zainab, 45, told us about the agonizing choices she had to make: “Recently, food prices have risen sharply over the past year and we have nothing to eat. Due to this difficult situation, with no other option at hand, we had to marry our 16 year old daughter to a man who also has another wife. She cried every week, but said she knew she was getting married to save the lives of other family members. It demolished our daughter’s future. We have no option to resolve these issues. If the situation continues like this, in the future we will be forced to marry our 10 year old daughter because we have no other choice.
Mr. Moses said: “The brutal and impending Afghan winter is also of great concern. Without the necessary donor funding and enough time for supplies to reach remote areas before heavy snowfall blocks access, communities will face catastrophic food shortages and insufficient protection from the elements. We deeply fear what lies ahead for vulnerable Afghans. ”
Zakia, 52, shared her fears about the impending winter: “I’m sure winter will kill my children. I don’t have a plan for winter, and I know this will be the coldest year with no food and higher prices. Poor people like us can never live [these conditions]. “
Climate change is another factor of food insecurity. Afghanistan is one of the the most vulnerable country in the world to climate change and one of the least equipped to manage its impact.
The food security situation is expected to deteriorate further between November 2021 and March 2022 with nearly 23 million people, or 55% of the population, expected to face acute famine during this period.
Mr. Moses said: “The incredible resilience of the Afghan people is being eroded by this devastating humanitarian crisis. We appeal to the international community to provide the support we urgently need to save lives now. ”
Notes to editor
CARE provides vital support through:
Financial assistance that allows families to decide for themselves what they need most, while supporting the local economy
Provide job opportunities and livelihood restoration assistance to those most affected by severe drought
Provision of essential items such as kitchen kits, blankets and soap.
CARE has also resumed support for food security and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in several provinces, including the provision of fertilizers, tools, seeds and training as part of a program to encourage farmers. women to develop allotment gardens and household livelihoods.
Founded in 1945, CARE is one of the largest and oldest humanitarian aid organizations fighting poverty in the world. CARE places particular emphasis on empowering and meeting the needs of women and girls and promoting gender equality and works in 100 countries around the world.
CARE began working in Afghanistan in 1961 and has had continuous operations in the country since 1989. CARE’s programs in Afghanistan focus on the social and economic empowerment of women, education, rural development and the response of women. ’emergency.
For media inquiries, contact:
Suzy Sainovski (based in Melbourne, Australia)
Regional Communications and Media Advisor for Asia-Pacific, CARE International
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: + 61 3 429 418 353