Afghanistan: Drought - Apr 2018Ongoing
The evolving drought situation exacerbates underlying challenges to food security from conflict and weak labour markets. WFP is preparing for a possible drought response to up to 1 million people. (WFP, 31 Mar 2018)
La Niña has had a devastating effect on this year’s planting season, with a rain, snow and sleet deficit of 70 per cent prevailing across most of the country. With last year’s wheat production already reported to be 57 per cent below the five-year average, the 2018 harvest is forecast to be even lower: down from 4.2 million metric tons to 3.5 million metric tons. (OCHA, 25 Apr 2018)
Forecasts indicate below-average to average precipitation for the remaining weeks of the spring wet season. Along with cumulative precipitation deficits, the below-average forecast is reflective of a low frequency of storms entering the region, increasing the risk for extended periods of dryness that could impact agricultural production. (FEWS NET, 4 May 2018)
Badghis, Balkh, Faryab, Jawzjan, Hilmand, Nimroz, Uruzgan, Kubduz, Takhar, Herat, Ghor and Farah are among the worst affected provinces. The population in these dry spells affected provinces, which are most ikely to need support in the areas of nutrition and food security, water and sanitation, emergency shelter and non-food items... The government launched a USD 100 million appeal in mid-April through MAIL for immediate livestock protection for an initial two months of assistance for fodder/feed support and an overall demand of USD 550 million for a 10 months fodder / feed support throughout the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. (IFRC, 16 May 2018)
In the 20 provinces most affected by the drought, nearly 15 million people rely on farming, livestock or labour opportunities in agriculture. Of these, an estimated 2 million people will become severely food insecure due to the drought. Humanitarian partners are ramping up their response across the country (see map next page), trying to reach 1.4 million of the most vulnerable girls, boys, women and men struck by the drought. Partners urgently need $115 million; the majority of this amount will provide food support to help families through the lean season and to provide them with drinking water for six months. (OCHA, 25 May 2018)
Food security outcomes in the agropastoral areas are worse than is typical during the spring and summer months. Livestock productivity and body conditions are below normal levels in many areas due to very poor rangeland conditions, leading to low income from livestock sales and limited household availability of livestock products. Most rangeland areas have received well below average rainfall amounts, except for localized parts of western, southwestern, and southeastern provinces. (FEWS NET, 31 May 2018)
In Hilmand, 150,000 heads of livestock have died due to the drought, according to authorities, and the water table has significantly dropped in nine districts. At present, there are no reports yet of migration movementsin the Southern Region due to the ongoing drought. The Dasht-e-Hawz site designated for the assistance of drought-migrated families north of Hirat City, Hirat, has proven unsuitable due to remoteness and harsh climatic conditions.Authorities relocated all remaining 2,500 people on the site back to Hirat City. According to provincial authorities, there is no land that they could allocate to the families to build temporary shelter. Around Qala-e-Naw, Badghis, farmers have given up hope for the harvest and started feeding the wheat that could not germinate to cattle. (OCHA, 03 June 2018).
Although several significant precipitation events during late spring helped alleviate dryness across the country, late rainfall was not sufficient to mitigate seasonal dryness in many parts of the country, which is most severe in the northwest but also significant across much of the north, northeast, southwest and central provinces. Field reports confirm that area planted for rainfed wheat is less than that of last year due to dry soil conditions and the use of extended areas for grazing, while a significant proportion of planted rainfed areas may have reduced yields due to dryness. (FEWS NET, 06 June 2018).
The lives of a million people are critically affected by drought in Afghanistan. Another 2 million people could be affected in the coming months. Food insecurity and reduced access to safe water are beginning to take their toll in the 10 worst affected provinces. Currently, more than 20 000 people have already been displaced to the province of Herat in western Afghanistan from neighbouring provinces due to the drought. (WHO, 15 June 2018).
The Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) has been revised to to include response to the drought and now calls for $547 million. The additional funding will allow humanitarian partners to incorporate assistance to 1.4 million people mostly affected by the drought in the sectors of food security and agriculture, water, sanitation and hygiene and nutrition.(OCHA, 31 May 2018).
Early assessments by local authorities indicate that more than 50,000 people could be affected by the loss of crops and livestock and will be forced to move in the near future. (IFRC, 05 July 2018)
The intense drought between April and September is expected to further aggravate the already poor malnutrition status within the 20 affected provinces, and the impact may extend to December. As a result, an increase in acute malnutrition caseload between July and December 2018 is expected. In addition, the severity of acute malnutrition among children under five may get worse, resulting in cases that are more complicated. As of 19 July, it is reasonable to assume that the increase in magnitude and severity of acute malnutrition and disease will stretch the capacity of health facilities to provide treatment, and that in the medium to long-term, children will face heightened vulnerability to morbidity and mortality. (WHO, 19 Jul 2018).
In Hirat City, Hirat, humanitarian teams identified more than 51,000 people who have recently migrated to the city from drought-affected areas in neighbouring Badghis and Ghor provinces. The families are living in dozens of sites on the outskirts of the cities in makeshift shelters. In Qala-e-Naw, Bagdhis, teams identified nearly 7,000 people who have moved from rural areas to the provincial capital due to the drought. Cash distributions have started for these displaced families. The Government has distributed wheat grain to 15,000 families in four districts of Badghis, and WFP is preparing to distribute 1,250 metric tons of food in two districts of the same province. (OCHA, 23 Jul 2018)
Poor households in the northern areas will be the most affected by the drought due to reduced household wheat stocks and income from on-farm labor where food consumption deficits will continue through the next harvest (Spring 2019). Poor households in central areas of the country dependent on remittances from migrant workers in Iran are expected to see a decrease in remittances and further weakening of the Iranian rial (IRR) against the U.S. Dollar (USD) and Afghani (AFN) to drive low incomes. (FEWS NET, 31 Jul 2018)
As of 6 August, approximately 4,000 people arrived in Qala-e-Naw, Badghis, during the past week, reportedly displaced by drought from Muqur district. In Kunduz Province, more than 10,000 people have reportedly been displaced between different districts due to the drought. In drought affected areas, NGOs and UN agencies are providing assistance including cash for food, water trucking and food distributions. In Hirat alone, humanitarian partners have finalised cash distributions to more than 60,000 people affected by the drought. (OCHA, 6 Aug 2018)
Most read reports
15/08/2018 Afghanistan is experiencing one of the world’s most complex humanitarian emergencies. Ongoing conflict, natural disasters, internal displacement and cross-border movements continue to increase food insecurity. This year, farmers are also suffering from a drought that is affecting the majority of the country.
Millions of people are being put at risk as droughts across the world affect food production, and livestock this summer.
Australia is experiencing its worst drought in living memory, with the Red Cross launching an emergency appeal for farmers who have been hit hard in recent weeks. The extreme dry spell has seen rural communities lose cattle and crops, putting livelihoods in jeopardy.
Les crises en Afghanistan, au Bangladesh, en Haïti et dans la région du Sahel parmi les plus sous-financées
A drought-affected mother in Afghanistan
After two years of failed rains, a desperate 19-year-old Maryam, her husband, their two children and her mother-in-law moved from Ghormach, in Badghis Province, north-west Afghanistan, to Herat City, some 200 km away. The family arrived with two blankets, which they sold to buy food.
New UK aid package to provide emergency food supplies for 1.4 million people
A new UK aid package will contribute emergency food supplies for 1.4 million people in Afghanistan whose lives are at risk from a deadly drought, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced on 27 July.
The UK is one of the first countries to support the United Nations’ appeal. Our rapid response will help import and distribute food and nutrition supplies before the situation deteriorates further.
On July 23rd, 2018, partners of the EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) funded Emergency Response Mechanism (ERM) launched a regional response to meet the immediate needs of over 8,000 drought displaced households in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The response is expected to reach up to 10,000 unassisted drought displaced households before the end of July.
Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of mortality among children under 5 years old in the world, with thousands of children dying every year. Malnutrition remains a major underlying cause behind child mortality and morbidity in many of Afghanistan's provinces. Almost half of all under-5 deaths are attributable to undernutrition, while more than 80% of neonatal deaths occur among newborn infants with low birth weights in the highest burden settings - strongly linked to very poor nutrition status of pregnant and lactating women.
Ongoing conflict and natural disaster were the key drivers of humanitarian needs during the reporting period (01 April – 30 June 2018).
Drought in 20 provinces across the country has significantly affected the health and nutrition situation of 4.2 million people. Health Cluster partners are scaling up their response.
The Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) has been revised due to the drought situation. An additional $117 million has been requested from the HRP.
The deteriorating security situation in some parts of the country has led to the closure of health facilities in many districts and casualties among healthcare workers.
Kabul – The World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a new contribution of AUD 5 million from the Government of Australia to provide food assistance for people affected by drought in Afghanistan. This brings Australia’s total contribution to WFP’s operations in Afghanistan to AUD15 million in 2018.
Today I announce that the Australian Government will provide humanitarian assistance to support people affected by food shortage throughout Afghanistan.
The United Nations has revised its Humanitarian Response Plan to call for urgent funding to provide emergency food, nutrition and water to over 1.4 million people who will need these supplies over the coming months.
NGOs call for comprehensive response to Drought in Afghanistan:
4th July 2018, Kabul, Afghanistan
Afghanistan remains one of the worst funded of the large crises around the world. Millions of people are in need of humanitarian assistance, mostly due to conflict, rapid-onset natural disasters and situations of protracted displacement. So far this year only 29% of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is funded; but on top of the initial response plan, a drought is further escalating needs.
When the rain stopped falling earlier in the year, many people like Ab. Karim from the province of Badghis knew that trouble was coming. In the north western province of Afghanistan, the reduced snowfall and scarce rains meant only one thing – Drought.
Kabul, 25 June 2018: The Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) has allocated US$17 million to non-governmental organisations and UN agencies delivering life-saving aid to families affected by the drought that has gripped large parts of Afghanistan.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Below average cereal output forecast for 2018 following dry weather conditions
Cereal import requirements in 2018/19 increasing
Wheat prices generally stable, inflation easing
High levels of food insecurity
Below average cereal output forecast in 2018 following dry weather conditions
‘Trends in humanitarian funding: where are we now and what lies ahead’ at the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment
Conference Room 12, United Nations, New York, 08:30 a.m. 19 June 2018
Excellencies, distinguished guests,
Having heard from Development Initiatives about funding trends through 2017, I am pleased to present the mid-year Global Humanitarian Overview Status Report.
Kabul, 15 June 2018 – The lives of a million people are critically affected by drought in Afghanistan. Another 2 million people could be affected in the coming months.
Food insecurity and reduced access to safe water are beginning to take their toll in the 10 worst affected provinces. Currently, more than 20 000 people have already been displaced to the province of Herat in western Afghanistan from neighbouring provinces due to the drought.
More than three decades of war, sustained flows of returnees, civil unrest, insurgent activity and recurring natural disasters have contributed to chronic humanitarian need in Afghanistan. As of early June, nearly 117,000 people are internally displaced due to conflict, more than 326,200 undocumented Afghans have returned from Iran and Pakistan, and approximately 10,000 people have migrated due to drought in 2018, according to the UN.
An estimated 1.4 million Afghans need life-saving assistance in the coming months, due to severe drought caused by La Niña climate conditions. “Water wells have run dry, crops are lost, livestock is dying. Farmers are forced to leave their villages”, says Abdur Rauf, humanitarian program coordinator for Cordaid in Kabul.
by Jared Ferrie | @jaredferrie | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 13:57 GMT
By Jared Ferrie
May 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Millions of Afghans face hunger after a drought decimated crops in the war-ravaged country, U.N. officials said on Tuesday, calling for an extra $115 million to help families buy food.
Two thirds of Afghanistan's 34 provinces have been hit by a lack of rain or snowfall since late last year, said a bulletin from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).