Let’s double our investment in food aid in Afghanistan

Facing economic collapse, Afghanistan is gripped by a feeding frenzy. Its economy is falling apart, its infrastructure failing, its people destitute and exhausted. Here’s what they need now — food.

The price of flour doubled in recent weeks. Prices for cooking oil, sorghum and barley are more than trebling. Officials aren’t sure what to do. Roads have been dug up. Sanitation infrastructure is in total collapse. People can’t go to the markets, and their neighborhoods are filled with rubble and trash.

Afghanistan isn’t the only place seeing rising food prices. More than 60 million people are facing hunger in the world today. These are the people who keep governments working, who push the global economy. They pay taxes, and every grain of food they produce becomes new income. That extra income comes to President Donald Trump in America and to our families in North America and Europe.

But rising prices are making them hungry. That’s scary — and sad. It shouldn’t be. We should have money in the bank, and our children don’t have to worry about growing up hungry.

So what can we do? There are more than 500 emergency food programs working with partner organizations in Afghanistan today. We must double our effort to feed those in need. The numbers are staggering: Some two million people could go hungry, including 430,000 children. Many more could soon join them if we don’t act now.

Our food security experts have told us how to do it. When prices are falling and food production is going strong, we scale up and implement emergency food programs to get everyone enough to eat. It’s the best investment we can make. And we’ll make it — right here in the United States. Our Food Aid Program is one of the highest in the world, providing lifesaving food for 30 million people across the world each year. But that’s only part of the solution. The other part is food aid that comes directly to people. There are a number of other programs that could immediately have a huge impact in Afghanistan, starting with emergency food.

First, with the tremendous increase in donations, we need to dramatically increase the number of tons of food we provide to emergency feeding sites. So we’re pushing for a doubling of aid to these sites. The more we can get to the people who need it, the better. We’re also asking Congress to authorize the highest level of humanitarian food support in our history, sending direct food to those in need. We’re in a global emergency. We need to act now.

Fighting hunger doesn’t happen overnight. But we can fight it. We’re one world. We can do it together.

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