In an effort to address the impending crisis, WFP executive director David Beasley told Fox News his organization is looking to raise $200 million by the end of 2021.
“If we don’t preposition the food we need in those difficult areas that you can’t reach once winter sets in … we could have a catastrophe,” Beasley said.
The United Nations estimates that half of Afghanistan relies on humanitarian assistance in some form for survival.
Beasley, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, met last week with Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar, to discuss how to get operations up and running again in Afghanistan.
The conversations were described as “positive.” So far the Taliban has allowed the WFP to push forward with its work, even offering protection to the organization’s aircraft and warehouses.
“We have to work with whoever controls geographical areas where people are suffering,” Beasley said. “That’s our responsibility.”
Beasley also met with leadership from neighboring Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan. On Twitter, he called Khan’s leadership “critical” to bringing peace, stability and hope to the people of Afghanistan.
He explained that it’s far cheaper to provide food assistance than to handle a population that becomes radicalized while fighting for survival.
“They use food as a weapon of recruitment and a weapon of war,” Beasley added. “We use food as a weapon of peace, a weapon of hope.”