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coronavirus
Coronavirus
VERY HIGH
Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
29,192
3024hr
Pakistan Cases
1,402,070
8,18324hr
Sindh
535,965
Punjab
471,925
Balochistan
34,187
Islamabad
123,648
KPK
189,300

Millions of Afghans are at risk of famine as one of the country's worst droughts in decades is compounded by an economic meltdown following the Taliban's sudden return to power last year.

Governments responded to the militant group's takeover in mid-August by freezing billions of dollars of Afghan assets overseas and halting most international funding to the aid-reliant nation of about 40 million people.

From rural farmers to urban middle-class professionals, millions of Afghans have been tipped into poverty after losing their livelihoods or income.

Many teachers, health workers, police and civil servants have not been paid for months and businesses have shut.

Spoils of war: Taliban put victory over US on display

Here are some facts about the crisis:

A record 23 million Afghans - more than half the population - face acute hunger, with nearly 9 million one step from famine, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

Up to 1 million children under five are at risk of dying from malnutrition.

Four-fifths of the country is experiencing severe or serious drought. About 70% of Afghans live in rural areas, and 85% derive income from agriculture.

About 3.5 million Afghans have been internally displaced by violence, drought and other disasters, including 700,000 last year.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has warned that 97% could fall below the poverty line by mid-2022. About half of the population lived in poverty before the Taliban takeover.

Annual per capita income was $508 in 2020, down from $650 in 2012. It is expected to fall to $350 this year.

Economists predict it could take $2 billion to lift all people in extreme poverty up to the poverty line.

Before the Taliban takeover, international aid contributed as much as 40% of gross domestic product (GDP), and about three-quarters of government spending, paying for everything from electricity imports to teachers' salaries.

Following the takeover, the International Monetary Fund predicted Afghanistan's economy could contract by up to 30% in 2021.

Taliban deputy PM calls for aid without 'political bias'

Restricting female employment - as the Taliban have done - could inflict an immediate economic loss of between $600 million and $1 billion (3-5% of GDP).

Annual development assistance, which was suspended after the Taliban's takeover, was $4.2 billion in 2019 - down from a high of $6.7 billion in 2011, according to World Bank data.

Humanitarian aid, a smaller portion of overall past assistance, has continued since the takeover, amounting to $1.72 billion in 2021 - up from $733 million in 2020 and $585 million in 2019. Sources: UNDP, WFP, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), World Bank, International Crisis Group.

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