The United Nations agencies estimate that 3.2 million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year and, and at least 1 million of these children are at risk of dying due to severe acute malnutrition without immediate treatment.
According to the United Nations (UN), severe food insecurity affects 14 million people in Afghanistan, as they do not have access to water, food and basic health and nutrition services.
The alarm was sounded following a two-day visit to the city of Herat by UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Afghanistan Herve Ludovic De Lys and World Food Programme's (WFP) Afghanistan Representative and Country Director Mary-Ellen McGroarty.
"As more families struggle to put food on the table, the nutritional health of mothers and their children is getting worse by the day," said De Lys. "Children are getting sicker and their families are less and less able to get them the treatment they need. Rapidly spreading outbreaks of measles and acute watery diarrhea will only exacerbate the situation," he added.
The two UN agencies are adding 100 more mobile health and nutrition teams. Already 168 mobile teams are providing a lifeline for children and mothers in hard-to-reach areas, according to the UN website.
Since the beginning of 2021, the World Food Programme has provided lifesaving food and nutrition assistance to 8.7 million people, including treatment and prevention of malnutrition for nearly 400,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women and 790,000 children under-five.
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