Afghanistan Food Security Outlook - January to June 2013
Afghanistan entered the 2012 to 2013 lean season more food secure than last year
The lean season started on time in January and even later in some areas because of the above normal 2012 harvest and above normal labor wages over the past year, both of which allowed households to stock more food for the lean season than usual. In a typical year, the lean season can start as early as December and continues until April.
Due to unusual losses of livestock in 2011 and early 2012 to extreme cold and lack of fodder, dietary diversity in extreme northern Badakhshan and the Wakhan Corridor is getting poorer. As households consume their food stocks, the area is expected to move from Minimal (IPC Phase 1) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) over February and March. However, by the beginning of April, the area will return to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) as milk production resumes, access to market improves, humanitarian assistance restarts, and the availability of labor opportunities increases.
The total precipitation from October 1, 2012 to January 20, 2013 has been below the 2002 to 2011 long-term average, particularly in the Northeast and southern Afghanistan. However, the total wet season precipitation is still expected to reach near average by the end of the season. While the forecasts indicate near normal rainfall through June, inadequate or poorly distributed rains during the spring wet season could lead to increasing food insecurity later in the year, especially in the northern, rainfed, wheat-producing areas.