Afghans face a disastrous winter: Cold, sick, hungry, displaced

Afghans face a disastrous winter: Cold, sick, hungry, displaced

As the winter snow begins to fall in Afghanistan, 8 million people are on the brink of famine. A million children under the age of five are at risk of dying over the next three months without immediate help.

Conflict and economic collapse, coupled with the worst drought in 27 years and the Covid-19 pandemic, have brought Afghanistan to a tipping point. With 3.5 million people displaced from their homes and bitter temperatures expected to drop below -15C in places, the situation looks bleak.

Saleh Saeed, chief executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), said: “Afghanistan is in freefall. People are starving.

“Food shortages and skyrocketing prices mean that people are selling everything they have just to buy basic supplies.

“When there is nothing left to sell, many people are going into huge amounts of debt. They are taking every action they can, but the situation is impossible.”

The DEC, a coalition of 15-member aid charities, sounded the alarm bell on 15 December with the launch of an appeal to fund live-saving food, shelter and healthcare for millions of Afghans who face acute food shortages and a freezing winter.

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