UN warns 1 million Afghan children at risk of starvation before winter hits

UN warns 1 million Afghan children at risk of starvation before winter hits
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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday warned that millions of Afghans could run out of food by this winter.

As The New York Times reported, Guterres gave the warning while speaking in Geneva at a U.N. conference on the matter of Afghanistan's dwindling resources and the livelihood of its people.

“After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, they face perhaps their most perilous hour,” said Guterres.

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According to Guterres, a third of Afghans don't know where their next meal will come from. He added that donors from the international community have pledged more than a billion dollars to Afghanistan.

Earlier in September, a Taliban spokesperson said the U.N. had promised to continue providing aid to the Afghan people following a meeting held in Kabul with the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths.

Shortly after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, the international community moved to cut off the country from accessing global resources. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund blocked Afghanistan from accessing resources, and the U.S. froze billions in Afghan funds being held in U.S. banks.

Last week, the U.N. called for Afghanistan's frozen funds to be released in order to avoid "a severe economic downturn."

"The economy must be allowed to breathe for a few more months, giving the Taliban a chance to demonstrate flexibility and a genuine will to do things differently this time, notably from a human rights, gender, and counter-terrorism perspective," said Deborah Lyons, the U.N. secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan.

On Monday, it was announced that the U.S. would be sending almost $64 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. The funds will be distributed through the U.N. and independent aid groups.