Conflict and poor agricultural production expected to drive deteriorating food security in Afghanistan
Escalated conflict has displaced thousands of households in May and June 2021, especially in northeastern, eastern, and southern provinces. In many areas, conflict has also been disrupting agricultural activities at the peak of the harvesting season. Many households whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by conflict are likely experiencing consumption gaps and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes expected in the absence of humanitarian assistance. Those who have received assistance are likely experiencing Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes.
Poor precipitation during the 2020/21 wet season significantly impacted rainfed production across Afghanistan and pasture conditions in lower elevation areas. In April and May, livestock prices declined where pasture conditions had significantly deteriorated, though high demand around Eid-ul-Adha is likely to prevent further price declines through the end of July. In the June to September period, area-level Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to emerge in many lower elevation areas significantly impacted by conflict and dry conditions as, even in the post-harvest period, many poor households in these areas likely harvested very little, are selling productive assets such as livestock, or have had their livelihood activities significantly disrupted by conflict. In many higher elevation areas, improvement to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes is expected alongside the harvest around August/September.
Despite some seasonal improvements in income-earning in urban areas, availability of casual labor opportunities remains 28 percent below average at the national level. Income from foreign remittances is also likely below average. Given this and above-average food prices, most poor households are expected to continue facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes throughout the projection period. Poor households worst affected by reduced income-earning opportunities will likely exhaust reversible coping strategies and begin to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in the absence of assistance in the October 2021 to January 2022 period as availability of income-earning opportunities declines seasonally.