The UN warned Tuesday that 6 million Afghans are at risk of famine.

By Dave DeCamp,

Tuesday marked one year since the US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan. While violence has significantly dropped in the country, millions of Afghans are facing starvation as the US maintains sanctions and refuses to release billions in Afghan central bank reserves.

A child collects bread at a market in Kabul

Martin Griffiths, the UN’s humanitarian chief, urged donors to raise $770 million for Afghanistan aid and warned that six million Afghans are facing famine in an address to the UN Security Council.

Griffiths said that more than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million people need assistance and that close to 19 million people are facing acute food shortages. He said that humanitarian aid alone “will never be able to replace the provision of system-wide services to 40 million people across the country.”

Among the problems Griffiths said need to be addressed are the country’s banking crisis and the extreme difficulty of international financial transactions. Both are a result of the US policy of seizing central bank reserves and maintaining sanctions on the Taliban, who now lead the Afghan government.

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