WFP Executive Director David Beasley spoke to Al Jazeera on Tuesday as he visited a complex in Doha housing more than 500 refugees who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital Kabul August 15th.
Beasley said 14 million people in Afghanistan – a third of the population – face food insecurity. This includes two million children who are already suffering from malnutrition.
“We need this funding now because the winter months are coming. We have four million people in the most difficult areas where winter only makes the opportunity to reach them worse, ”he said.
In addition to years of conflict, Afghanistan’s food security has also been threatened by drought and the coronavirus pandemic.
Afghanistan is now facing an economic collapse, with foreign countries and institutions declaring that they will withhold aid and money from Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country.
Beasley said WFP would start to run out of food in September without additional funding.
He said the Taliban had assured WFP they could continue to provide aid to Afghanistan unhindered. He said the chaos and violence at Kabul airport in recent days are not affecting WFP’s operations in Afghanistan, as the agency is delivering food and aid to the country by truck.
“Whether it’s the Taliban or others, we are getting the cooperation we need. We have told everyone on the ground that we need neutrality, impartiality, independence. So far everyone has given us what we need to reach people.
He said the group, which now controls all but one of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, even provided protection and security around food warehouses from looters and gangs.
“So far they [the Taliban] calibrated, cooperated and gave us the access we need, ”said Beasley. “I hope this will continue… and I expect it to continue,” he said.