From: The Stream

Is Afghanistan being left to go hungry?

On Tuesday, September 28 at 19:30 GMT:

How to feed Afghanistan?
An estimated 14 million people in Afghanistan, a staggering one-third of the population, are facing food insecurity, according to the UN World Food Programme (WFP). The figure includes two million children who are already malnourished.

The situation has become a perfect storm – years of drought, conflict and economic deterioration, compounded by COVID-19. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the country is on “the verge of a dramatic humanitarian disaster.” The price of wheat has gone up by 25 percent since the Taliban took control of the country in August and the WFP says its food stocks will run out by the end of September.

Last week, some US sanctions on the Taliban were lifted to allow free movement of aid. But is that enough? In this segment, we’ll look at the situation and ask what Afghans need most as winter nears.

To boost or not to boost?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week authorised booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for high-risk individuals and people over 65 who received their second dose at least six months earlier. About 22 million Americans are at least six months past a second Pfizer dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and about half of that number are 65 or older.

But while boosters are being approved in the US, less than 4 percent of adults on the African continent are fully vaccinated. The majority of AstraZeneca, Janssen, Pfizer and Moderna vaccine doses have been bought up by upper-middle and high-income countries, leaving the African Union’s Africa Vaccine Access Trust (AVAT) and the COVAX vaccine sharing programme for developing countries struggling to find stocks.

In this segment, we ask whether distributing boosters in rich countries makes sense while other parts of the world are left behind.

Time to leave Britney alone?
A slew of new documentaries on the life of global popstar Britney Spears are being released as a hugely controversial conservatorship arrangement with her family may be coming to an end.

The singer was put under the legal care of her father Jamie Spears more than 13 years ago by the courts after she was hospitalised with mental health issues and substance abuse problems. As conservator, her father was given immense control over her life and finances, and as one of the new films points out, the power to hire 24/7 security and surveillance.

In this segment, we ask what is next for Britney and examine the questions her case has raised about conservatorships.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Shaza Moghraby, @shazam999
Spokesperson, World Food Programme

Achal Prabhala
Public health activist and Coordinator, AccessIBSA project

Lisa MacCarley, @LisaMaccarley
Estate and probate attorney