UNITED NATIONS - A senior UN official in Afghanistan has said that millions of Afghans are on the brink of starvation as cold weather approaches and humanitarian funding runs low. “The situation can be best described as pure catastrophe,” the UN Deputy Special Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, told a news briefing via video-link from Kabul on Monday.

Dr Alakbarov was providing an update on how the UN and partners have assisted nearly 23 million Afghans over the past year in the wake of the Taliban takeover.   They have maintained “probably the largest and the most unprecedented humanitarian lifeline delivery operation for the people of Afghanistan”, he said.  Currently, some 25 million Afghans are living in poverty, and “immediate and urgent attention” is needed to address rising food prices resulting from the global food crisis and the country’s economic decline.