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)
Throughout the country, the drought has impacted an estimated 2.2 million Afghans in regards to access to water, crop production and agricultural output. It has particularly affected rural dwellers who depend on farming for survival. As a result, tens of thousands of Afghans have fled their homes in search of stable water sources, heading to areas close to rivers or towards cities. Herat province has been severely impacted, in terms of hosting drought-affected IDPs from neighbouring provinces, most particularly from Badghis. (IOM, 28 Sep 2018)
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Stefanie Glinski, Regular IRIN contributor
ABKAMARI DISTRICT/Afghanistan, 11 October 2018,
The dusty, barren hills of western Afghanistan stretch far into the horizon. Here in Badghis Province, a severe drought has left barely any vegetation alive. But some villages in Abkamari District are an exception.
Read more on IRIN.
Stefanie Glinski, Regular IRIN contributor
Afghanistan is besieged by decades of conflict, but more people this year have been displaced by drought than war.
Read more on IRIN.
Brussels, 4 October 2018
EU humanitarian will support communities affected by the drought, civilian war casualties, and displaced populations
The European Commission has allocated an additional €20 million in emergency aid to Afghanistan as the humanitarian situation has worsened since the beginning of 2018, due in part a severe drought affecting large parts of the country. This brings total EU humanitarian aid for Afghanistan to €47 million in 2018.
A WMO-led project to establish a functioning hydrometeorological service in Afghanistan to improve early warnings and provide accessible and accurate weather forecasts to increase resilience has “achieved more than anyone could imagine,” according to an Afghan government minister.
Kabul, Afghanistan - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) contributed approximately $44 million to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to support the provision of critical food assistance to people affected by drought in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is currently facing the worst drought in decades, affecting 20 of the country's 34 provinces.
Even though Afghans today have better prospects for a semblance of peace than at any time in the past few years, immediate risks facing the country can seriously jeopardize progress and derail aspirations for a peaceful, secure and prosperous Afghanistan, a senior United Nations official warned on Friday.
After four decades of conflict and insecurity, and with elections to be held in the coming months against a backdrop of growing humanitarian need, Afghanistan needs more support than ever to tackle its challenges, said the United Nations humanitarian and refugee chiefs on Monday after a joint two-day visit in the country.
The United Nations humanitarian affairs chief, Mark Lowcock, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, were speaking to the press in Geneva, ahead of a major international conference on Afghanistan due to be held in November.
• Hunger on the rise in world’s most brutal war zones
• 2 in 3 infants with life-threatening malnutrition set to go untreated this year
• Alarming shortfalls in funding for conflict zones; spike in obstructions to delivery of humanitarian aid
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LONDON, Sept 10 – More than half a million children in conflict zones could die from extreme hunger before the end of the year, new research by Save the Children shows.
(Kabul, 6 September 2018): At the end of a two-day joint visit to Afghanistan, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, called on donors to urgently increase and sustain support for the humanitarian response. This includes measures to find durable solutions for millions of people caught up in Afghanistan’s complex and rapidly evolving displacement crisis.
As at 31 August 2018:
11,599 registered refugees have returned to Afghanistan from neighboring and non-neighboring countries (10,301 from Pakistan).
208,615 individuals have been newly displaced by conflict in 2018 and profiled by OCHA as internally displaced persons (IDPs) in need.
78,340 Pakistani refugees from North-Waziristan Agency have been biometrically registered in Khost province and verified in Paktika province.
By Enayatullah Azad, Media, Information & Advocacy Coordinator, Norwegian Refugee Council
OSLO, Aug 30 2018 (IPS) - Amid a precarious security situation in Afghanistan, the worst drought in recent history that hit two out of three provinces in Afghanistan in July has destabilised the lives of tens of thousands of civilians, some of whom have already been displaced.
The United Nations has predicted that over two million people are expected to become severely food insecure in the coming period.
10,225 registered refugees have returned to Afghanistan from neighboring and non-neighboring countries (9,255 from Pakistan).
166,834 individuals have been newly displaced by conflict in 2018 and profiled by OCHA as internally displaced persons (IDPs) in need.
78,210 Pakistani refugees from North-Waziristan Agency have been biometrically registered in Khost province and verified in Paktika province.
Key Updates as at 31 July 2018
Turkey has distributed 1100 food baskets in the Herat Region of Afghanistan under the coordination of the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
An AFAD team that held a meeting with the World Food Program (WFP) Turkey Director Zlatan Milisic, Deputy Minister of Disasters of Afghanistan Mohammad Qaseem Haidari and the Turkish Red Crescent Afghanistan Delegation to detect those who are in need and analyze humanitarian aid needs in Afghanistan, completed its preparations and started to distribute aid on August 12, 2018.
Almost three million people living in some of the most remote and dangerous areas of the world will be receiving meat as part of Islamic Relief’s Qurbani distributions, during the Eid Festival.
The international humanitarian and development organisation is distributing quality Qurbani meat in 35 countries across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, during Eid al-Adha, which this year is celebrated between 21-23 August.
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.