Sep 1, 2021 - World

Food in Afghanistan could run out this month, UN official says

A Taliban fighter (C) walks past shoppers along Mandawi market in Kabul on September 1, 2021

A Taliban fighter walks past shoppers along Mandawi market in Kabul on Sept. 1. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

Food could run out in Afghanistan this month, a UN official said Wednesday during a daily briefing.

Why it matters: The looming food insecurity crisis is the latest challenge in Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover and the culmination of nearly 20 years of U.S. military involvement in the region, AP notes.

Driving the news: Approximately one-third of the country faces "emergency" or "crisis" levels of food insecurity, according to Ramiz Alakbarov, the local UN humanitarian coordinator, per AP.

  • "The lean winter season is fast approaching, and without additional funding, food stocks will run out at the end of September," Alakbarov said.
  • The United Nations' World Food Program has donated food to thousands of people, but of the $1.3 billion needed for aid efforts, only 39% has been received, UN officials said per AP.

The big picture: Following the Taliban's swift takeover of Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops, the group now controls a country that relies on international aid and faces a worsening economic crisis, per AP.

  • "The challenges the Taliban face in reviving the economy could give Western nations leverage as they push the group to fulfill a pledge to form an inclusive government and guarantee women’s rights," AP writes.
  • 14 million people are identified as food insecure in Afghanistan, including 550,000 who have been displaced by conflict this year, per the UN World Food Program.

Go deeper: U.S. financial institutions caught in crosshairs of Afghanistan's economic crisis

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