Decades of conflict, prolonged population displacement, civil unrest, armed group activity, and recurring natural disasters contribute to humanitarian needs in Afghanistan. Disaster-affected and food-insecure communities require continued life-saving food and nutrition assistance.
Ongoing conflict and population movements—which restrict livelihood opportunities and limit household income—continue to drive food insecurity in Afghanistan, where approximately 4.9 million people are in need of emergency food and agricultural livelihoods assistance, according to the UN.
Many households are projected to face Stressed (IPC 2) levels of acute food insecurity through January 2020, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reports. As winter approaches, poor households still recovering from the drought, as well as returned and internally displaced people will likely face Crisis (IPC 3) outcomes due to ongoing conflict, weak labor markets, and depletion of food stocks. FEWS NET projects approximately 380,000 conflict-displaced individuals and 440,000 returnees from Pakistan and Iran will require food assistance through January 2020.
In Helmand and Daykundi provinces, surveys conducted in 2019 indicate “serious” levels of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM)—a combined measurement of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases. Conflict, illness, constrained access to health facilities, and limited dietary diversity are expected to have negative impacts on malnutrition throughout the winter months, according to FEWS NET.