February snowfall and rains largely alleviated precipitation deficits.
• Since October precipitation had been below average, but heavy snowfall in early February helped fill the more extreme deficits, ensuring sufficient irrigation for crop development during the primary March to July growing season.
• While current snowpack is likely to support the irrigated grain crop, the success of rainfed crops will depend on April to May rainfall, for which there is a high risk of suppressed rainfall. A poor rainfed season would increase food insecurity, primarily in northern Afghanistan by the end of June.
• Although most households entered the lean season more food secure than last year, those in extreme northern Badakhshan and the Wakhan Corridor are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Dietary diversity is poor. Households have almost consumed their food stocks. This area will return to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) by April with improvements in milk production, access to markets and labor opportunities, and renewed humanitarian assistance.