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Agencies distribute meals, blankets, cash as hunger and cold threaten Afghanistan

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KABUL, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Aid businesses delivered meals, blankets and cash to tons of of displaced households in Kabul on Wednesday as humanitarian help begins to trickle into Afghanistan following warnings the nation faces doubtlessly catastrophic famine this winter.

The distribution of help to 324 households represents a tiny fraction of the wants in Afghanistan, which faces a extreme drought as nicely as a close to collapse of its economic system following the withdrawal of Western help.

Chilly climate on Monday underlined the urgency in getting help to hundreds of displaced individuals within the capital, many having fled from the provinces and sleeping in tents or improvised lodging across the metropolis.

As individuals lined up contained in the UN compound for handouts of meals and primary home goods, bigger crowds gathered outdoors, many determined for assist.

“We got this assistance, but we cannot spend the winter with it,” stated Bibi Pashtoon. “Winter is difficult, and we have nothing except God, and we need more help.”

But the problem of offering the help is very large. As nicely as farmers and rural individuals displaced by drought, poverty has prolonged into the cities the place widespread unemployment has compelled many to attempt to promote their family items to boost cash.

“Around 50,000 Afghan people from different provinces of the country have been displaced because of recent conflicts and are in Kabul. Our assistance continues to needy people every week,” stated UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch.

Even earlier than the Taliban’s victory over the Western-backed authorities in Kabul two months in the past, greater than 18 million Afghans, or about half the inhabitants, wanted humanitarian help, based on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Other UN estimates recommend that as a lot as 97% of the nation’s inhabitants may very well be plunged into poverty by subsequent 12 months in a worst-case situation.

The Group of 20 main economies pledged this week to supply humanitarian help to Afghanistan and the United States has promised individually to assist relieve the speedy hardship going through tens of millions of Afghans as the cold season begins.

However donor nations have been reluctant to present any funds on to the brand new Taliban authorities, that means the help is prone to be channelled via worldwide businesses.

Wednesday’s distribution was overseen by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organisation for Migration, the World Food Programme and the Danish help company DACAAR.

Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Nick Macfie

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A person holds a flag of Afghanistan while taking part in a Solidarity With Afghan Women rally outside the United Nations headquarters, during the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, in New York, U.S., September 25, 2021.  REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

Afghan families, who are among displaced people fleeing the violence in their provinces, sit with their belongings as they prepare to return to their provinces, at a makeshift shelter at Shahr-e Naw park, in Kabul, Afghanistan October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

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