Humanitarian community launches an appeal for Afghanistan Drought Response for US $142 million

Report
from UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
Published on 01 Oct 2011 View Original

The Humanitarian Country Team in Afghanistan has called for US$142 million to help the Government provide life-saving assistance to an estimated 3 million people affected by drought in 14 provinces in the north, north east and west of the country. A launch event held today in Kabul was officiated by the Second Vice President of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, His Excellency Karim Khalili, to raise awareness on this slow-onset disaster with other members of the Cabinet, diplomatic core and humanitarian community also present.

The 2011 Consolidated Appeal for Afghanistan, Emergency Revision in Response to Drought is an additional funding request in the amount of US$142 million to enable humanitarian agencies to respond to this drought. Immediate needs are related to food security (US$112 million), nutrition (US$22 million), health (US$2.7 million) and access to water (US$0.9 million) for almost three million people to prevent the situation from deteriorating before the commencement of the winter and spring lean seasons between December and April. Four provinces will be especially affected by decreased access due to winter conditions – Ghor, Daikundi, Bamyan and parts of Badakshan – in addition to food security challenges given their next harvest will not appear until September 2012.

On 23 July, the Government announced a two million metric tonne cereal production deficit from the slow onset drought as a result of limited snow and rainfall during the past winter and spring. Subsequent assessments conducted by the humanitarian community in July and August, namely an Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) by Food Security and Agriculture Cluster partners under the technical leadership of the World Food Program. Priority activities include both the scaling-up of food assistance through direct distributions and cash transfers to provide local communities with access to food markets together with improved water accessibility and quality. A combination of health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene interventions are required to prevent an outbreak of communicable diseases and expected increases in morbidities linked to nutritional deficit. Emergency shelter and non-food items for the displaced are essential for survival especially in winter.

In order to ensure a coherent and effective response amongst all parties, the humanitarian community is working with the drought coordination cell established by the Government of Afghanistan under the leadership of Minister Rahimi, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livelihoods (MAIL).

“This drought further exacerbates an already critical situation for many communities that are in conflict-affected, insecure and under-developed areas. It is also important to note that this is the eighth slow-onset drought experienced by Afghanistan since 2000 due to rain and water shortfall leading to decreased agricultural productivity. Whilst there is always a humanitarian imperative to respond, this must also be complemented by an increasing focus on development to prevent recurrence of the impact of drought on vulnerable communities in the years ahead,” said Peter Crowley, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator and UNICEF Country Representative in Afghanistan.

Through this emergency revision process in response to drought and the revision of other CAP projects, the (June 2011) Mid Year Review requirement of $454 million has been revised to a total $583 million. The 2011 Afghanistan CAP is currently 58% funded. The drought-related projects highlighted in the Emergency Revision document amount to $142 million inclusive of the FSAC, WASH, Nutrition, Health, and Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items Clusters. 31 new projects have been added to address the provision of humanitarian assistance and protection to victims of conflict and natural disasters.

The 2011 CAP Afghanistan Emergency Revision in Response to Drought can be found at, here.

For further information, please call: Christophe Verhellen, OCHA Afghanistan Head of Public Information at +93.793.001132 or verhellen@un.org