UN, humanitarian agencies warn more than 2 million Afghans at risk this winter

The United Nations and several humanitarian agencies are saying that more than 2 million Afghans are at risk from cold, disease and malnutrition this winter.

Wednesday's warning comes as an international appeal for funds to help Afghanistan — one of the world's poorest countries — has fallen drastically short of its goal.

The U.N. says that only 48 percent of $448 million requested to help 8.8 million Afghans was pledged by the end of November.

The aid agencies are preparing to help Afghans deal with harsh winter conditions, especially about 400,000 people who live in some of the most remote mountainous areas of northern and central Afghanistan.

Snow has already covered mountaintops and the first snow of the year was forecast to fall this week in the Afghan capital, Kabul.