• Ongoing conflict and population movements—which restrict livelihood opportunities and limit household income—continue to drive food insecurity in Afghanistan, where approximately 8.2 million people are in need of emergency food and agricultural livelihoods assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2020 Afghanistan Humanitarian Needs Overview.
• More than half of Afghanistan’s 30 million people live below the poverty line, and 11 million Afghans are acutely and severely food insecure. Additionally, the Nutrition Cluster estimates that 3.35 million children and pregnant and lactating women require nutrition support in 2020.
• Many households in central, northern, southern, and western Afghanistan face Crisis (IPC 3) levels of food insecurity, which are projected to last until the May harvest season. Households that are not experiencing Crisis levels of food insecurity remain under Stressed (IPC 2) conditions, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).* Stressed conditions will likely persist throughout the rest of the country due to ongoing displacement, weak labor markets, limited livelihood opportunities, and below average household purchasing power. Food security outcomes are expected to improve with reductions in conflict.
• Afghanistan is experiencing a high number of returnees. More than 138,000 people returned from Iran and Pakistan between January and March 2020. The uptick in returnees and disruption of remittances may increase strain on local markets and food availability.