1 million Afghan children at risk of dying due to acute malnutrition: UN officials

WION Web Team
Herat Published: Oct 06, 2021, 03:07 PM(IST)

The looming crisis is set to expose the children to child labour, exploitation, recruitment by militias and trafficking, the charity said. Photograph:( AFP )

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The UN agencies are currently involved in setting up mobile health units and nutrition teams for children and mothers.

UNICEF said that nearly 3.2 million children under the age of five in Afghanistan may suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year.

The UN body made the assessment after UNICEF's representative in Afghanistan, Hervé Ludovic De Lys, and World Food Programme (WFP) Afghanistan representative and country Director, Mary-Ellen McGroarty, visited Afghanistan.

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The officials said at least 1 million children in Afghanistan are at risk of dying "due to severe acute malnutrition without immediate treatment."

In a worrying development, WFP survey had revealed that 95 per cent of households in Afghanistan are not consuming enough food with adults skipping meals so that their children can eat properly.

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McGroarty and De Lys visited Herat and met families in the area as they assessed the food distribution centres.

The UN agencies are currently involved in setting up mobile health units and nutrition teams for children and mothers.

Mary-Ellen McGroarty said Afghans are making "desperate choices" for their families while calling on the international community to release the funds which were pledged earlier.

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UN chief Antonio Guterres had also urged the international community to engage with the Taliban to provide a "lifeline" for Afghans even as McGroarty said if it is not done then the "impact could be irreversible".

(With inputs from Agencies)

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