World Food Programme calls for frozen Afghan assets to be freed for humanitarian efforts as starvation looms.

The UN food agency needs up to $220 million a month to partially feed nearly 23 million vulnerable people as winter nears.
The UN food agency needs up to $220 million a month to partially feed nearly 23 million vulnerable people as winter nears. (Reuters)

Millions of Afghans, including children, could die of starvation unless urgent action is taken to pull Afghanistan back from the brink of collapse.

World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley said on Monday that 22.8 million people - more than half of Afghanistan's 39 million population - were facing acute food insecurity and "marching to starvation" compared to 14 million just two months ago.

"Children are going to die. People are going to starve. Things are going to get a lot worse," he said in Dubai.

"I don't know how you don't have millions of people, and especially children, dying at the rate we are going with the lack of funding and the collapsing of the economy."

The food crisis, exacerbated by climate change, was dire in Afghanistan even before the takeover by the Taliban.

But the country plunged into crisis in August after Taliban drove out a Western-backed government, prompting donors to hold back billions of dollars in assistance for the aid-dependent economy.

"You've got to unfreeze these funds so people can survive," Beasley said.

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Source: Reuters