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).
Most read reports
- Afghanistan: Food Security and Agriculture Cluster - Dashboard on drought response and funding update (November 2018)
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- Afghanistan Opium Survey 2018 - Cultivation and Production
- US Airlift Targets 70,000 Afghans Displaced by Drought
- FAO: El Niño 2018-19
Nearly forty years of conflict have deeply affected Afghanistan. Despite efforts to stabilise the country the security situation continues to deteriorate. Whilst peace talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the main non-state armed group continue, the conflict between the different actors across the country has continued to intensify. Attacks on civilians and aid workers have increased, and 2018 is on track to be the deadliest year on record for civilians in Afghanistan.
Key issues in the past week:
• A total of 282,000 people have been verified as having been displaced by conflict in 2018.
• Three new polio cases have been recorded in the south and east of the country.
• 223,100 people are currently estimated to be displaced in the western region as a result of drought.
9,758 New IDPs reported in the past week
158,000 People assisted in the past week
282,000 Total verified IDPs in 2018
• Drought internally displaces an estimated 253,600 people as of September 30
• Some drought-affected households likely to experience IPC 4 levels of acute food insecurity by January
• Conflict, strained capacity hinder humanitarian response efforts
15.7 million people moderately (12 million) and severely (3.7 million) food insecure in rural Afghanistan (WFP analysis of EFSA results, 2018)
2.5 million drought-affected people targeted by WFP for food assistance (WFP analysis of EFSA results, 2018)
255,000 people displaced by conflict (OCHA 14 October)
During the first half of September 2018, around 120,000 people were newly displaced from rural areas of Badghis to Qala-e-Naw due to on-going drought. The number of people displaced due to the drought is currently more than 250,000 in the Western Region.
There are insufficient resources across all sectors of aid in Badghis among all partners.
The number of people displaced by conflict in Afghanistan is 250,000 in 2018.
• Despite increased efforts of humanitarian partners, living conditions for families displaced by the drought remain harsh.
• Families displaced by the drought have consumed their food assistance and negative coping mechanisms like marrying off girls are on the rise.
• The attack on Ghazni City in August trapped thousands of families in their homes during days of heavy fighting.
• The UN officially launched Awaaz Afghanistan, the first inter-agency nationwide call centre that people in need can reach tollfree by dialling 4-1-0.
Key issues in the past week:
• The number of people displaced by conflict this year has surpassed a quarter of a million.
• More than 263,330 people are currently displaced due to the drought across four provinces.
• According to the latest IPC report, the number of people in emergency phase of food insecurity has almost doubled to 3.3 million in the past year.
11,200 New IDPs reported in the past week
524,800 Total verified IDPs in 2018
Volatile security circumstances and active fighting in districts of Nangarhar has continued to threaten the safety of health facility staff and has led to an increase in displaced populations in the region.
Over 1.6 million people in the Western Region are in need of health assistance, including an estimated 150,000 droughtinduced internal displaced population (IDPs) in Herat City and Qala-e-Naw City.
Key issues in the past week:
- The drought has displaced a total of 275,000 people, 52,000 people more than conflict in 2018.
- In Qala-e-Naw, partners are ramping up assistance across all sectors and deploy additional staff.
- Health authorities in Hirat report a spike of cases of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever.
9,700 New IDPs reported in the past week
222,500 Total verified IDPs in 2018
63,000 People assisted
**Countrywide conflict displacement**
Key issues in the past week:
The centre of Ghazni city has been declared clear of mines, 100 items of UXO have been destroyed
Taliban have reportedly taken three ambulances and medical staff under their control in Nangarhar.
The number of people displaced by conflict in Afghanistan has surpassed 200,000 in 2018.
5,400 New IDPs reported in the past week
206,615 Total verified IDPs in 2018
60,000 People assisted in the past week
Health Cluster partners are responding to a drought in the northern region where up to 2.2 million people may be affected by water- and vector-borne diseases and malnutrition.
The top two communicable diseases during July were acute diarrheal diseases (356,940 cases) and acute respiratory infections (346,407 cases).
Seventy-one (71) attacks on healthcare were reported in July, including 42 attacks/closures of health facilities, 27 attacks on health personnel and two attacks on ambulances.
Afghanistan is suffering from severe drought, which has placed an estimated 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
WFP Afghanistan’s response to the drought has three phases. Phase 1, the early response was completed in June and targeted 14 provinces and reached 463,000 people. Phase 2, the enhanced response, is ongoing. Phase 3, the full-scale response, will begin in September or early October.
Key issues in the past week:
Drought forced approximately 14,000 people from their homes to the cities of Kunduz and Qala-eNaw, according to initial reports.
Humanitarian agencies provided assistance to 90,000 people in need in the past week.
In Jalalabad, aid workers and civilians were killed in two separate attacks within the past week.
Countrywide conflict displacement
The number of drought-affected families who moved to Hirat City has reached a total of 7,400.
Humanitarian needs in rural areas are high and families need assistance to help them stay close to their homes and fields.
The ongoing drought will have repercussions that will be felt years to come and humanitarian and development action need to go hand in hand.
Attacks on health facilities and health workers have become more deliberate and violent this year.
Health Cluster partners are responding to a drought in the northern region. Up to 2,2 million people may be affected by food insecurity.
UNAMA released their latest update on civilian casualties covering the first half of 2018. A total 5,122 casualties (1,692 deaths and 3,430 injured) were reported between 1 January and 30 June, and the figures remain at record high.
The common analysis and guidance note on Afghanistan are the result of a pilot process for the development of country guidance.
This pilot process was completed successfully with the endorsement of the guidance note by the EASO Management Board during its 28th meeting in June 2018. In addition to providing guidance on one of the main countries of origin for applicants for international protection in the EU, this pilot served as a basis for consolidating the methodology for development of country guidance, and as a model for future notes.
Nearly 380,000 undocumented Afghans return from Iran and Pakistan
Drought conditions in Badghis, Ghor, and Herat affected more than 22,400 people from January to mid-June
USG provides more than $76 million in FY 2018 assistance to respond to acute needs across Afghanistan
Key issues in the past week:
- Conflict and fighting in five provinces displaced 21,000 people, according to first initial reports.
- IOM suspended activities at three border crossings due to lack of funding for two weeks.
- Demonstrations in Faryab and Balkh provinces hampered humanitarian activities.
- A total of 52,000 people in need received humanitarian assistance across the country.
Key figures of the past week:
Drought and conflict are triggering displacement in Afghanistan. Almost 20,000 people were displaced due to conflict in June, mostly in Nangarhar and Wardak provinces. Over 20,000 people have been forced to migrate due to drought, since the beginning of April. 4,000 were displaced within Badghis province, during the last week of June. The total number of IDPs in 2018 is over 132,000 countrywide.