Afghanistan: Drought and Flash Floods Emergency Appeal n° MDRAF005 EPoA update n° 5

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Summary of operation update:

This operation update mainly informs the extension of the operation by a further six months, until 30 September 2020 following request by the National Society. Based on latest assessments conducted in nine provinces; Nimroz, Herat, Faryab, Badghis, Jawzjan, Sar-e-pol, Kandahar, Balkh and Helmand, it is estimated that 298,963 people, (42,709 households) are still struggling to cope from the effect of 2018/2019 drought and floods. This extension will enable the National Society to reach the targeted people with the much-needed humanitarian needs.

Description of the disaster

Afghanistan experienced the worst drought in a decade in 2018-2019 with about 13.5 million people severely food insecure, which was 6 million more than in 2017.

Several droughts affected provinces were also hit by flash floods in March and April 2019, further exacerbating the humanitarian situation. The flash floods destroyed homes, damaged infrastructure and agricultural land in several districts affecting more than 350,000 people in the country. According to the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Agency, the most affected provinces were Farah, Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Herat, Nangarhar and Badghis.

As of December 2019, millions of people are still struggling to recover from the devastating effects of the drought and flash floods. Hunger and malnutrition remain at dangerously high levels despite the passing of the drought with 14. 3 million people forecast to be in crisis or emergency food insecurity in the first months of 2020. . Early of this year heavy snowfall, flooding and a large number of avalanches have been reported in different parts of Afghanistan between 12-15 January 2020. Around 11 out of 34 provinces reported to have been badly affected. Provinces with casualties and significant damage to homes and livelihoods included Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Laghman, Herat, Badghis, Ghor, Daykundi, Bamyan and Baghlan. ARCS has mobilized their staff and volunteers in the affected areas from 13 January 2020 to conduct assessments and to distribute relief items such as blankets, tents, kitchen set, tapeline sheets and jerry cans.