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UN Appeals For $678 Million In Humanitarian Aid For Afghanistan

One in five Afghan children dies before reaching the age of 5.

One in five Afghan children dies before reaching the age of 5.

The United Nations today launched a $678 million humanitarian aid appeal for Afghanistan, where more than 7 million people are living in fear of starvation.

UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg today issued a statement announcing the 2011 appeal, saying the agency hopes to "recast the humanitarian agenda in Afghanistan based upon the core tenets of humanity, impartiality, and neutrality and be better placed to reach more people."

Aid efforts in Afghanistan are routinely criticized for being mismanaged and misappropriated.

Civilian causualties in Afghanistan are also at their highest levels in the country since 2001, with one in five Afghan children dying before they reach 5 years old due to starvation, poor health conditions, or violence caused by the war.

The UN appeal follows a December 2 warning from the International Committee of the Red Cross that the humanitarian situation will likely worsen unless the Afghan government and the Taliban come to an agreement preventing further violence.

compiled from agency reports