January 28, 2014

Afghanistan is slated to hold Presidential and Provincial Council elections on 5 April. The Presidential poll will mark the transfer of power from one elected president to another for the first time in the country’s history. The political transition coincides with a security transition as Afghan security forces have taken up security responsibility from their international allies, who are ending their combat mission by the end of this year.

Through the WFP scheme, people affected by conflict, disaster or economic stress will be assisted with food, vouchers or cash; under-nutrition will be addressed through targeted supplementary feeding programmes for children and pregnant and lactating women; support for schools will aim to increase enrolment and attendance; and adults will be trained in vocational skills.

According to recent estimates of a globally-recognized method of measuring the level of malnutrition, ‘Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM),’ some 60.5 per cent of Afghan children under the age of five suffer from stunting while 37.7 per cent are underweight; 72 per cent are deficient in iodine and iron and 34 per cent are anemic.

The same estimates note that among Afghan women of reproductive age, 21 per cent are underweight, 72 per cent are iodine-deficient and 48 per cent are iron-deficient.

The UN agency’s previous PRRO, implemented between April 2010 and December 2013, targeted 7.6 million vulnerable people with the aim of enhancing their food security and nutritional status.

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