1.1M Afghan Children Under 5 Could Face Severe Malnutrition This Year

Photo: AP [via The Independent]

The Facts

  • According to the UN, 1.1M children under the age of five will likely face severe acute malnutrition, also known as severe wasting, this year in Afghanistan.

  • Severe wasting is the most lethal form of malnutrition. Food is so lacking that a child's immune system is compromised, making them vulnerable to multiple bouts of disease. Eventually, they become unable to absorb nutrients and may die without intervention.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Drought, while a contributing factor to Afghanistan's crisis, is not the driving force; sanctions are. Western nations' decisions to cut the Taliban off from international finance and development aid have enveloped the country in a crisis that's accelerating at an unprecedented pace. While Western countries have withdrawn their military presence, the war continues on a new battlefront.

Pro-establishment narrative

The Taliban's return to power and the humanitarian crisis that followed have confronted the West with a hopeless dilemma: How can they provide international assistance to a country that desperately needs it while ensuring the aid money doesn't enrich Taliban's corrupt leaders? The answer: they can't.

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