Emergency assistance needs are atypically high through the lean season across the country
• Due to drought and prolonged conflict, Afghanistan is experiencing its worst food insecurity emergency since the 2011 drought with an atypically high number of households in need of emergency assistance. The drought mainly affected rainfed wheat production and livestock pasture. Other agriculture products did not have as severe production losses, in part because households in some areas used irrigated water for second season and horticulture production.
• Most of the country is currently experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Areas worst affected by drought and conflict in Badghis are currently in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The number of households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will increase through the peak of the lean season in April with Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes anticipated in Badakhshan, Badghis, and Daykundi. At the peak of the lean season in early 2019, an estimated 6 to 7 million people will be in need of humanitarian food assistance.
• To date in 2018, the number of people displaced due to conflict continues to surpass displacement due to drought. IDPs have lost key sources of income and are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through May 2019. Humanitarian food assistance will be necessary through the upcoming winter to mitigate food consumption gaps, as employment opportunities and income during the October to March period are at a seasonal low due to snowfall. • The national cereal production deficit is expected to be offset by imports, primarily from Kazakhstan and Pakistan, stabilizing market supply and prices. Nonetheless, during the winter months access to trade routes and main food markets will likely be restricted due to snowfall increasing food and fuel prices, which will likely further limit household’s purchasing power. Due to the forecast weak El Niño, average to above-average precipitation is anticipated during the 2018/19 wet season, benefiting harvest prospects after the 2019 lean season. Current