Afghanistan: Drought - Apr 2018Ongoing
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)
In the past week, another 120,000 people have arrived in Qala-e-Naw City, Badghis, due to the drought. In Kandahar, assessment teams verified the arrival of 2,800 drought-displaced people from Badghis and Ghor and 1,400 in the district centre of Maiwand, Kandahar. The total displacement due to the drought has reached a total of 275,000 people, exceeding the number of people displaced by conflict in 2018 by 52,000 people. In Qala-e-Naw, partners are ramping up assistance across all sectors and are deploying additional staff, though the gaps remain significant. Further, WFP plans to further scale up food assistance in areas of origin to allow families to return to their villages, reaching up to 100 per cent of the population in the most affected districts. In Hilmand Province, IRC started a new project to assist 2,100 drought affected people. (OCHA 9 Sep 2018)
Badghis, Balkh, Faryab, Jawzjan, Hilmand, Nimroz, Uruzgan, Kubduz, Takhar, Herat, Ghor and Farah are among the worst affected provinces...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...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)
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[.] (OCHA, 31 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)
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, 6 Jun 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. (OCHA, 6 Aug 2018)
As of 12 August, some 1,400 families reportedly arrived in the centre of Abkamari district, Badghis, from villages affected by the drought in the district. In Farah City, Farah, assessment teams identified nearly 600 people displaced by the drought from within the province. Further, around 280 displaced people were identified as having been displaced from their villages in Shahrak district, Ghor, due to the drought. In Qala-e-Naw, Badghis, authorities designated a new site for 1,700 families who arrived recently in the city due to the drought. (OCHA, 12 Aug 2018)
The drought continues to force people from their rural homes to the urban centres in Badghis, Ghor and Hirat provinces where their number surpassed 100,000 since May, according to humanitarian partners. The situation of drought-induced IDPs in Hirat city, Hirat remains dire. In the past week, six children reportedly died in the informal sites due to sickness, in a fire accident and at birth. WASH, health and protection services on the sites are picking up, but there are large gaps notably of emergency shelter. DRC-DDG and UNICEF have started protection monitoring on sites housing some 35,000 people. (OCHA, 19 Aug 2018)
An estimated 275,000 people have been displaced as a result of the drought in Afghanistan. Newly displaced people arriving in Hirat during the last week have been reported, but not confirmed. In response to the drought, WFP started food distributions for 47,000 people in rural areas of Ghor Province. (OCHA, 17 Sep 2018)
In the first half of September, an estimated 120,000 people have been displaced from rural areas of Badghis to Qala-e-Naw as a result of drought. As of 20 September, an estimated 253,600 people are currently displaced from drought affected areas across the Western Region. A further 28,000 people displaced by the drought have returned to their homes in Muqur district of Badghis, in the last two weeks, upon assurances of food distributions in their home villages. Existing response capacity at more than a dozen sites in Qala-e-Naw and its surroundings is limited: around 42,000 people have insufficient access to safe drinking water and over 130,000 people have no access to sanitation facilities with people living in makeshift shelters. (OCHA, 24 Sep 2018)
Due to drought, high levels of food assistance needs will persist through the start of the lean season. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present throughout Afghanistan due to declining purchasing power, disruption of normal livelihoods due to conflict, and poor rainfed staple performance and will contribute to the increased food assistance needs as compared to recent years. The worst-affected households will likely experience Emergency (IPC Phase 4) as large food deficits emerge with the onset of winter in. (FEWS NET, 30 Sep 2018)
On 16 October, United Nations’ Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF) and Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) have allocated $34.6 million in emergency aid to support 2.2 million people affected by a severe drought. With these funds, 7 national NGOs, 15 international NGOs and 4 UN agencies will distribute food and seeds, maintain primary health services, provide emergency shelter, safe drinking water, improve hygiene and sanitation, treat severe malnutrition, and help farmers protect their livestock. (OCHA, 16 Oct 2018)
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present throughout Afghanistan due to declining purchasing power, disruption of normal livelihoods due to conflict, and poor rainfed staple performance and will contribute to the increased food assistance needs as compared to recent years. Poor household dependent on rainfed wheat production, particularly in northern, northeastern, and northwestern areas, are expected to experience difficulty meeting consumption requirements until next year’s spring harvest. The worst-affected households will likely experience Emergency (IPC Phase 4) as large food deficits emerge with the onset of winter (IFRC, 01 Nov 2018).
According to the latest IPC report, Badghis is among the three provinces with IPC Phase 4 (emergency), whereas, Ghor, Hirat and Farah provinces are classified as IPC phase 3 (crisis). The most affected provinces with large-scale displacement are Badghis and Hirat provinces which accounts 74% of the total IDPs (OCHA, 19 Nov 2018).
In October-November, WFP reached nearly 1.6 million drought-affected people with food assistance in all 20 affected provinces, providing more than 27,000 mt of food and transferring over US$1.45 million cash assistance to the affected people. Meanwhile, prepositioning of food and nutrition supplies continues in remote areas in nine provinces, to cover the needs of 499,000 people (3,400 metric tons prepositioned in the last week of November). (OCHA, 9 Dec 2018).
Maps & Infographics
Most read reports
- Nearly six thousand Afghan farming families severely affected by drought targeted for emergency assistance
- Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 [EN/AR/FR/ES/ZH]
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- Afghanistan Weekly Field Report (10 December – 16 December 2018)
- Afghanistan Humanitarian Response: Wash Cluster Updates, Cluster Achievements - November 2018
3.3 M people face severe food insecure due to ongoing drought. 280,000 people have already been displaced because of drought. Health status of those displaced and at places of origin are compromised by malnutrition, lack of maternal healthcare and potential disease outbreaks (AWD, respiratory infections, CCHF).
With the approval of the Government of Afghanistan, the Republic of Korea and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have joined forces to provide emergency assistance to some 5 800 drought-affected vulnerable farming families in two of the worst drought-affected provinces, Ghor and Badghis.
Kabul, 16 December 2018 – The People and Government of Republic of Korea has donated around USD 2.2 million in support of most vulnerable children and women affected by displacement due to drought. The contribution will protect 21,000 families, more than half are children, from the harsh winter season.
Ongoing conflict and drought were the key drivers of humanitarian needs during the reporting period (01 July – 30 September 2018).
Approximately 95,172 individuals affected/displaced by conflict were in need of emergency shelter and NFI assistance mainly in Ghazni, Kunduz, Uruzgan, Helmand and Sar e pul Provinces in the North, Northeast, Central and Southern regions of Afghanistan.
Kabul, 12 December 2018 – With an urgent need to scale up disaster risk reduction across Afghanistan and to address humanitarian needs, UN Environment carried out a three-day interactive training course in Kabul from 10 -12 December 2018, to examine the challenges and opportunities for advancing ecosystem-based disaster reduction measures in humanitarian action and development planning.
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Kacou Houadja Léon Adom (Côte d’Ivoire):
The Members of the Security Council welcomed the outcome of the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan on 27-28 November, co-hosted by the Government of Afghanistan and the United Nations, which renewed the partnership and cooperation of the Government of Afghanistan and the international community for Afghanistan’s peace, prosperity and self-reliance midway through the Transformation Decade (2015-2024).
AFGHANISTAN/Badghis: Thousands have been displaced from their homes because of conflict, drought and lack of food. Now, winter is approaching and the cold have already claimed its first victims.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is working around the clock to ensure that the most vulnerable families receive shelter to be able to make it through the winter.
A high-level international conference on Afghanistan got underway at the UN in Geneva on Tuesday to show solidarity for the war-torn country’s people and help strengthen Government efforts to promote development, along with wider peace and security.
Geneva Palais Briefing note on the situation of children in Afghanistan
GENEVA, 27 November 2018 - This is a summary of what was said by Alison Parker, UNICEF Chief of Communication in Afghanistan – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, this past Saturday began the first in a series of airlifts to western Afghanistan bringing thousands of tents for people displaced by a mix of conflict and an ongoing severe drought.
Together the drought and ongoing conflict have seen over quarter of a million Afghans being displaced in this region of the country since April.
Emergency response plan aims to help 1.4 million people
27 November 2018, Geneva/Kabul - A new drought response plan will help 1.4 million of the most vulnerable drought-affected people in Afghanistan during the coming winter season and into April next year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced today on the sidelines of the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan (27-28 November).
to assist 1.4 million people affected by drought in 22 provinces
FAO requires USD 30 million
period October 2018 – April 2019
10.6 millionpeople severely food insecure
The UK will provide vital food, shelter and clean water to Afghans affected by one of the worst droughts the country has ever faced, Penny Mordaunt announces.
The UK will provide vital food, shelter and clean water to Afghans affected by one of the worst droughts the country has ever faced, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced today (Monday 26 November).
Afghanistan has faced a series of droughts in recent decades, which severely affect harvests and can destroy the livelihoods of farming families.
By introducing viable alternative approaches to the cultivation and processing of oilseed crops, ACTED, with funding from UNODC, is working to improve the livelihoods of 100 vulnerable farmers in three northern provinces of Afghanistan.
Need for a higher harvest
Herat – Afghanistan is currently facing its worst drought in decades. The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and humanitarian partners have so far identified 35,549 families (223,100 individuals) displaced in the western provinces of Herat, Badghis and Ghor between January and October 2018.
Wheat production will likely be 28% below the five-year average, with a deficit of 2.5 million tonnes
275 000 people displaced by drought as of September 2018
42% of the population reported a decrease in income compared with last year
92% of farmers reported insufficient or no seeds for the next planting season
48% of pastoralists reported reduced livestock productivity and an increase in animal deaths
Low precipitation during the winter 2017–18 primary planting season caused severe drought throughout Afghanistan that continued during the spring and summer months. The shortage of rainfall has resulted in dry pasture, poor quality fodder, spread of livestock diseases and animal deaths, and a shortage of water for rainfed and irrigated agriculture.
8AFGHANISTAN/Badghis: Sultana, 24, recently had to bury her youngest daughter, who froze to death in the Afghan desert.*
Thousands of families have settled in tents on an arid field in the northwestern Afghan desert. After four years of failed rains, hunger has forced them to flee. They are farmers, but have long since sold off the livestock that would have provided them with food through the winter. Now, the cold has already claimed its first victims. The youngest children die first. Sultana’s daughter was only three months old.
People displaced in Afghanistan's worst drought-affected province, Badghis, urgently need food and better shelter to survive the upcoming winter months. "We fear that cold and hungry children will be hit by winter illnesses leading to entirely preventable deaths," warned Chris Nyamandi, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Afghanistan. "Temperatures have already dropped close to zero degrees at night and the next few weeks will be really testing for families with freezing temperatures coming up.