UN warns 3mn Afghans are in ‘urgent’ need of food amid ‘worst drought in living memory’

At least three million Afghans are in urgent need of food and could face famine if they do not get help, the United Nations warned Monday. The war-torn country is battling the worst drought in living memory, AFP reported. A dry spell mainly across northern and western Afghanistan has devastated crops, livestock and water supplies, forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Afghanistan is grappling with a 17-year conflict and preparing to hold a parliamentary election that is three years late. The United Nations is spearheading international efforts to reach 2.5 million of the three million most in need of food by mid-December, according to UN humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan Toby Lanzer. “Those people are surviving on less than one meal a day and in all likelihood that meal is bread and tea,” Lanzer added. The three million people hardest hit are in “emergency” phase four of a widely-used food insecurity index - one level below famine, Lanzer said.