A severe dry winter has affected 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, threatening the lives of 1 million Afghans, in addition to another 2 million who may feel its impact in the coming months as a hot summer approaches, UNICEF warned on Monday.
A lack of rain in late 2017 and early this year is leading to food insecurity and water scarcity that could worsen the already high malnutrition rates among children, UNICEF said in a statement.
Food insecurity and reduced access to safe water are beginning to take their toll on the 10 worst affected provinces where 20 to 30 percent of water sources are reportedly dry, the statement said.
The impact of the drought couldn’t come at a worse time, as cases of severe acute malnutrition – seasonal malnutrition – rise on average by about 25 percent each year in the coming summer months. Some 1.6 million children and 443,000 pregnant and lactating women suffer from malnutrition across Afghanistan.
It is worth mentioning that hundred of thousands of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan are subjected to sectarian oppression and discrimination, by terrorist groups. The Shias in Afghanistan have always been targeted in a massacres that kill hundreds at a time.