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PESHAWAR: In order to assist people in Afghanistan on humanitarian basis, the Pakistan government is supporting United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) operations to address critical food shortages in Afghanistan as the country facing a rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis.

“WFP Pakistan has worked closely with the Ministry of Food Security and the Ministry of Commerce to procure and secure the earliest dispatch of the wheat flour to Afghanistan”, said Chris Kaye, WFP Pakistan’s Representative and Country Director, according to press release issued here on Wednesday.

“WFP’s food assistance to the Afghan people now is a critical life-saver. It will reduce the likelihood of people having to migrate to survive.”

According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) assessment, some 22.8 million people in Afghanistan face acute food insecurity, including 8.7 million at emergency level (IPC Phase 4). Without immediate humanitarian action, the situation will quickly become a matter of life or death.

Chris Kaye informed that WFP is rapidly expanding its operations to provide emergency food assistance to the most vulnerable Afghan people. With the support of the Pakistan government, WFP has started dispatches of wheat flour from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

Approximately 200 trucks carrying 10,000 MT of wheat flour will leave from Pakistan to Afghanistan in the coming days.

In addition to providing a vital source of food commodities, Pakistan provides a vital corridor for humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people from the rest of the world, he added.

The government is also facilitating UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) operations between Islamabad-Kabul. The air-bridge serves as a vital component in supporting assistance efforts into and across Afghanistan by the humanitarian community.

“Pakistan’s support for WFP’s work in Afghanistan is vital. We are very appreciative of the assistance we have received so far,” added Kaye.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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