SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sunday called for urgent action to protect millions of Afghans from starvation and warned that over 22.8 millions Afghans, who constitute nearly half of the total population, are facing food insecurity while 3.2 million children under the age of five year can suffer from acute malnutrition. SAARC Chamber Chief Iftikhar Ali Malik while talking to a high level delegation led by Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood, Dean faculty of information and media studies Punjab University said the international community especially West and US must realize that this indifference may result in chaos, leading to internal strike and civil war, the consequences of which would be disastrous for the whole world beyond Afghanistan. He said it’s race against time and countries must step in to shoulder their responsibility and to address Afghanistan’s latest disaster. He said this is a country where only 5 percent of the people have access to enough food to survive and Afghanistan is now among the world’s worst humanitarian crisis as this country is on a countdown to catastrophe. Iftikhar Ali Malik who is also founder chairman Pak-US Business Council and Chairman United Business Council also asked for taking measures to ensure availability of food commodities. Dr Khalid Mahmood said at a donors’ conference in September last, the world community pledged $1 billion in humanitarian assistance, a third of which was to go the WFP but the sum of money pledged to provide food to hungry, amounted to a “ a drop in the ocean”. He said WFP needed as much as $22 millions per month to help stave off death due to hunger. He said tragically however,the world seems largely indifferent and aid is too little and too slow as the world powers continue to debate whether or not to recognise the Afghan Taliban. He observed the response from the international community had thus been lukewarm, even downright cold, despite the unfolding human tragedy in a country that has known nothing but wars for the last four decades. Dr Khalid is an author of several books and contributor of research articles in important international magazines and journals called for devising a long term road map for Afghanistan in order to advance the agenda of political engagement, economic integration and regional connectivity. He said, “Our collective efforts can halt economic meltdown. An economic collapse will yield instability, conflict and a refugee influx into neighbouring countries and onward to other regions.” Another visiting faculty member of school of Communication Studies Punjab University and senior member of think tank Dr Waqar briefly talking on the occasion pointed out the following the Taliban takeover of Kabul, major donors had stopped funding the Afghan government,stressing that earlier the donors used to cater for roughly 70 percent of Afghanistan’s budget. He said sudden withdrawal of foreign assistance had created a huge gap and warned that 90 percent of the Afghan population could fall below the abject poverty line next year. He appreciated the Pakistan for trying its best to help stem the down slide and continued to provide urgently needed food stuff and medicines to Afghanistan, he concluded.