Why the effort to help Afghanistan is falling short

WASHINGTON (AP) – A grim situation in Afghanistan is getting worse. Freezing temperatures are compounding the misery from the downward spiral that has come with the fall of the U.S.-backed government and the Taliban takeover.

Aid groups and international agencies estimate about 23 million people, more than half the country, face severe hunger and nearly 9 million are on the brink of starvation.

The U.S. government has already pledged $308 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and is working with the U.N. and organizations such as the World Bank to provide additional help. But there is growing pressure to do more, such as unfreezing Afghan funds held in the U.S.