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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World released the following statement in response to the rising hunger in Afghanistan. Bread welcomes the U.S. Treasury’s announcement today of actions to better enable the provision of humanitarian assistance and support to reach the Afghan people, and the U.N. Security Council’s unanimous adoption of a resolution doing the same.
“Bread for the World is deeply concerned about the escalating hunger crisis in Afghanistan caused by conflict, drought, and economic policies. The people of Afghanistan are facing rising food and fuel prices, food shortages, and a breakdown of public services. One million Afghan children are at risk of starvation and death,” said Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO.
To avert the deaths of millions of children from malnutrition, more urgent action is needed. The United States should work with its global partners to fully fund the World Food Programme’s $2.6 billion humanitarian appeal for the country, where humanitarian needs have tripled and close to 23 million people, more than half the population, face extreme hunger.
Bread also urges the U.S. government to explore all possible foreign policy options to address the hunger crisis in Afghanistan, including common-sense economic policies that both protect our national security and alleviate the severe consequences facing the Afghan people. Our government must not support or undertake actions that hinder the well-being of civilian populations.
“We must not withhold good from those whom it is due, when it is in our power to act (Prov. 3:27),” said Cho. “It is incumbent upon the United States to do everything in its power, including providing humanitarian assistance and putting in place economic policies that will avert the further deepening of the Afghan hunger crisis.”
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.