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WASHINGTON: Food security in Afghanistan has deteriorated sharply since the Taliban took power in August, while wages have fallen “dramatically” for more than two-thirds of workers, a World Bank survey said Tuesday.

The report found 70 percent of the households surveyed said they were unable to meet their basic needs for food and other essentials, twice as many as in a previous survey conducted in May 2021. There also was a “significant” decrease in both the quality and quantity of food consumed.

“The results suggest that while the Afghan population is still able to find work and access some key public services, the situation is quite fragile,” according to the report, which was based on data gathered by telephone between October and December 2021 of nearly 5,000 Afghan households.

The World Bank warned “that an imminent and dramatic decline in welfare outcomes and access to services could occur unless salaries, at least for key services, can be restored and food security improved.”

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