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9 million Afghans live in extreme poverty

The Afghan government says nine million people in Afghanistan are living in extreme poverty, while two years ago only five million Afghans lived in penury.

Two years ago, five million people in Afghanistan lived in extreme poverty, but now the number has increased to nine million, Afghan Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Salim Kunduzi told a gathering to mark World Food Day, Pajhwok Afghan News reported on Thursday.

He added that Kabul regards people who do not have enough food and other basic daily necessities as extremely poor.

The senior Afghan official said the number of poor varies throughout the year, but always increases in the winter.

The recent floods across Afghanistan and in neighboring Pakistan have worsened poverty, experts said.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), extreme poverty is measured by having none or less than five hectares of land.

The rise in the price of food products, such as rice, cooking oil, and meat, has pushed many Afghans, who are among the poorest people in the world, into a high risk of food shortage, a Press TV correspondent reported in early October.

“Unfortunately, Afghanistan is highly import-dependent when it comes to basic goods,” said the spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Commerce, Ahmad Farhad Afghanzoi.

“It does not produce much to meet its needs. Therefore, we import most of our food from our neighboring countries,” he added.

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