GENEVA - Almost 4 million people in Afghanistan are on the verge of famine as a result of the worst drought in a lifetime, Toby Lanzer, the deputy special representative for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said on Tuesday.

“3.6 million people who what we say are in level four food insecurity. Just to be clear that’s one step away from famine. That’s how hard this drought has struck in 2018 … [This is] the worst drought in a lifetime. This is what people are telling me,” Lanzer said at a press briefing.

Afghanistan has been suffering from severe drought for two years. In October, the United Nations said that it had earmarked almost $35 million in emergency aid to support over 2 million people. However, Afghanistan’s Humanitarian Response Plan continues to be “drastically underfunded,” according to the United Nations.

Besides the drought, the South Asian country has long been in a state of turmoil, with the government fighting the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) and the Taliban insurgency.

The ongoing conflict resulted in millions of people suffering from displacement, unemployment and poverty.