Almost all Afghans could fall into poverty in coming months, says U.N.

·2 min read
Woman begging in Kabul
Woman begging in Kabul HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images

The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is reportedly rapidly worsening as foreign aid runs out and many Afghans are unable to find work.

The Wall Street Journal reports that "almost the entire Afghan population of 40 million people could fall below the poverty line in coming months," citing the United Nations' World Food Program. Already, 95 percent of Afghans aren't getting enough to eat, and for some desperate families, the situation has become so dire that they have been forced to hand over their children to settle debts, writes the Journal.

Because many health clinics were dependent on foreign funding, most are now running out of essential resources and basic medicines. The lack of aid also means that many doctors and nurses haven't been paid in months despite continuing to care for patients, including severely malnourished babies.

Advocacy organizations are urging other countries to continue providing humanitarian aid, despite the Taliban's takeover. "To pause the lifesaving funding because we're still negotiating female rights would be utterly wrong," said Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. The U.S. halted its aid to Afghanistan upon leaving the country, but has since announced it would send $64 million in new humanitarian assistance.

The U.S. is also in the process of working to resume evacuation flights. As the National Review notes, those flights will in part address the issue of remaining Americans who have been unable to leave Afghanistan since the Taliban took power. NBC News Connecticut reports that "more than three dozen Connecticut residents are still trying to leave" but the logistics and patchwork of organizations has led to delays. The State Department's regular evacuation flights will reportedly start back up "before the end of the year."

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