Washington says there is an "urgent" humanitarian situation in Afghanistan while calling on regional and nearby countries to do more in the war-ravaged South Asian country.

Afghanistan's drought, its worst in decades, is now entering its second year, exacerbated by economic and climate crises.
Afghanistan's drought, its worst in decades, is now entering its second year, exacerbated by economic and climate crises. (AP)

US has said it believes there is an "urgent" humanitarian situation in Afghanistan with winter approaching and is working with UN bodies to find ways to get aid and liquidity into the Afghan economy. 

In a regular press briefing on Monday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price also called on regional and nearby countries to do more to help the situation in Afghanistan. 

He declined to name which countries he was talking about.

More than 40 House Democrats have called on the treasury secretary to unfreeze Afghanistan's central bank reserves to prevent a humanitarian crisis. 

The US froze more than $9 billion in Afghan central bank assets after the country's Western-backed government collapsed and the Taliban took over. 

The Democratic House members said the collapse of the Afghan currency would only lead to further humanitarian collapse. 

The UN warns that one million children are at risk of death due to malnutrition. But the appeal faces stiff opposition from Republicans as well as significant legal hurdles. 

READ MORE: OIC meeting in Pakistan seeks world support for Afghanistan

READ MORE: Afghan women seek rights, unfreezing of funds as starvation risk grows

Muslim nations promise help in OIC meet

It comes a day after Muslim nations resolved to work with the United Nations to try to unlock hundreds of millions of dollars in frozen Afghan assets in a bid to tackle a growing humanitarian crisis.

At a special meeting hosted by Pakistan of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) delegates said they would work "to unlock the financial and banking channels to resume liquidity and flow of financial and humanitarian assistance".     

The meeting was the biggest conference on Afghanistan since the US-backed government fell in August and the Taliban returned to power.

Since then, billions of dollars in aid and assets have been frozen by the international community, and the nation is in the middle of a bitter winter.

An OIC resolution released after the meeting said the Islamic Development Bank would lead the effort to free up assistance by the first quarter of next year.

It also urged Afghanistan's rulers to abide by "obligations under international human rights covenants, especially with regards to the rights of women, children, youth, elderly and people with special needs".

Afghans borrowing food

Pakistan has warned of "grave consequences" for the international community if Afghanistan's economic meltdown continued, and urged world leaders to find ways to engage with the Taliban to help prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

More than half of Afghanistan's 38 million people face "acute" food shortages, according to the UN.

The United Nations' World Food Programme surveys showed an estimated 98 percent of Afghans are not eating enough.

Seven in 10 families have been resorting to borrowing food, which pushes them deeper into poverty, it said in its recent survey. 

READ MORE: Afghans facing 'avalanche of hunger and destitution'

Source: TRTWorld and agencies