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On Tuesday, the United Nations called for $5 billion in aid to Afghanistan and its neighbors, a new high for the organization.
The appeal was issued jointly by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They hope to raise $5 billion in response to the severe hunger that affects half of the country, including up to a million children who are malnourished.
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has warned that if relief is not supplied quickly, the situation would worsen.
“We need to get food to the families where they live. We need to get seeds to the farmers where they plow,” OCHA head Martin Griffiths said. “We need to get health services to the clinics in locations throughout the country, and we need protection services for all those people who want to return home.”
OCHA and its allies are seeking $4.4 billion in the appeal. Another $623 million is being suggested for UNHCR to help the more than 6 million Afghan refugees worldwide. Despite worsening conditions, more than 175,000 refugees have already returned to Afghanistan.