Prince Charles has warned a million children could die in Afghanistan this winter.
The 73-year-old royal has spoken about the "truly catastrophic" situation in the Middle East, with more than half the population facing hunger and aid supplies facing difficulties as the areas may be cut off by snow when temperatures drop as low as -12C.
In a message of support for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)'s Afghanistan Crisis Appeal, Charles - who is patron of the International Rescue Committee - said: “The situation in Afghanistan is truly catastrophic. More than half the population will face acute hunger and freezing temperatures this winter, including one million children under five who could die unless they receive immediate treatment for malnutrition."
The DEC acts as an umbrella for collective appeals by 15 UK aid charities, including the International Rescue Committee, and has raised more than £17.5 million in the last five days.
Charles added: “This is why I am so grateful that some of the world’s biggest charities have come together to launch an emergency appeal to support people in Afghanistan.
“I am proud to support this collective effort to provide the people of Afghanistan with emergency food, nutritional support for children and winter kits to help them stay warm.”
The DEC launched their appeal last week after more than eight million people were said to be on the brink of famine, and the economic and humanitarian collapse in the country - which stems from war, drought, coronavirus and sanctions against the Taliban - was predicted to worsen with the plummeting winter temperatures.
The UK Government have pledged to match public donations to the appeal, up to a maximum of £10 million.
Saleh Saeed, DEC chief executive, said: “I urge the public, if they can, to continue to donate. The crisis is not over. Eight million people are on the brink of famine in Afghanistan, and we have a small window of opportunity to offer vital assistance.”