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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

Go deeper

Zalmay Khalilzad steps down as Afghanistan envoy

Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images

Zalmay Khalilzad stepped down as special envoy for Afghanistan peace talks on Monday, two months after the Taliban seized control of Kabul in a disastrous conclusion to the 20-year war in Afghanistan.

Why it matters: Khalilzad was the architect of the Trump administration's 2019 peace deal with the Taliban, which the head of U.S. Central Command called "the primary accelerant to lowering morale and general efficiency of the Afghan military."

Navigating bring-your-own containers for Chicago takeout

Monica packs her own takeout at Chengdu Aroma in Lakeview. Photo: Colin McMahon

A few weeks ago I walked into my local Sichuan restaurant with a bunch of empty plastic containers and an odd question:

  • "Would it be OK if I ordered my food for here, but then packed it all in my containers to go?"

Why it matters: The pandemic has seen a sharp rise in single-use plastic, including food containers, as people try to support restaurants with takeout. But less than 9% of US plastic is recycled.

2 hours ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

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