Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the members of the committee for having me here today.
Canada has a long history of supporting the Afghanistan people. Over two decades we have seen Canadian development funding that helped a generation of Afghans achieve a higher standard of living and the resettlement of thousands of Afghan refugees to Canada. As well, 40,000 Canadians bravely served in Afghanistan from December 2001 until 2014.
Our focus has been on the people of Afghanistan, supporting development, peace and security, and humanitarian aid for the Afghan people. However, since the Taliban takeover in August, we have seen an appalling regression on many of these gains. Most disturbingly, the Taliban continued its zealous and ideological intolerance for the equality of women and girls. This must stop.
The humanitarian situation is dire. The UN estimates that 24 million people inside Afghanistan require humanitarian assistance in 2022. They urgently need food assistance, treatment for malnutrition, shelter and access to basic health services. Right now 23 million people, half of Afghanistan's population, are acutely food-insecure, including 8.7 million people who are at risk of famine. Almost five million people in Afghanistan will require treatment for acute malnutrition. That includes 2.8 million children. Currently, 6.5 million people are lacking the appropriate shelter and supplies to survive Afghanistan's harsh winters. As well, three million children under five and 3.4 million women of reproductive age will require emergency health services in 2022 alone.
In this immense suffering, we cannot lose sight of those Afghan women and girls. They have been disproportionately impacted by this food insecurity, which has only been made worse by Russia's unjustifiable war in Ukraine. Their lives have been uprooted and destroyed because of the Taliban's unjustifiable discrimination against women and girls. We must continue to stand up in their defence. We must ensure that our support meets the unique needs that women and girls have.
In the face of these multiple crises, Canada is focused on helping. We're supporting experienced humanitarian partners that are delivering results on the ground, helping to provide food, nutrition, shelter and health care. Last week I announced that Canada is providing an additional $50 million, for a total of $142 million in 2022, to help support the people of Afghanistan, particularly women and girls.
Currently, the World Food Programme is delivering food assistance at critical need, where half of the population is food-insecure. With our support—it amounts to over half of Canada's recent humanitarian assistance—the World Food Programme has provided 13 million people with the food they desperately need. We also support UNICEF's procurement of ready-to-use therapeutic food, which treats cases of severe acute malnutrition in children under five, helping them to save over 56,000 children from dying of starvation.
We are partnering with International Organization for Migration, who, along with other humanitarian partners, have helped provide over 500,000 people with shelter, fuel, heaters and winter clothing. The ICRC is supporting hospitals and the staff who work in them to help prevent the total collapse of health services in Afghanistan. They continue to scale up their efforts with Canadian support.
I want to thank our humanitarian partners who are doing critical work in Afghanistan and the region. They operate on the front lines of this response day after day, under challenging circumstances.
Afghanistan is on the brink. We know that our partners need more help to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. That is why Canada will continue to be part of the solution. Our humanitarian response since August is the largest it has ever been for Afghanistan. In 2022 Canada's humanitarian assistance will be $142 million. We will continue to work to address the pressing humanitarian needs, including access to humanitarian relief, health care and education. We will continue to fight for the rights of women and girls. We will continue to be there for the people of Afghanistan.
I'll take your questions now, Mr. Chair.