With each passing month, new waves of people are turning to drastic measures to feed their families. Two-thirds of the population (66 percent) are now resorting to crisis coping strategies - a staggering eight percentage point increase from the previous month and a sixfold increase since 15 August' Many (60 percent) are resorting to four or more strategies, and parents are increasingly restricting their own meals just so their children can eat (66 percent).
People are being left with few alternatives as their incomes fall. Eight in ten (81 percent) income-earning households experienced a significant decrease in income in January, with Kabul hit the hardest (88 percent). Worse still, some households were even forced to brave the cold month of January with no income earned at all (18 percent). Amid dropping incomes, people are spending most of what remains on food. Across the country, a huge proportion (80 percent) of household income was spent on food in January, leaving little to spare for other essential survival needs, and underscoring just how dire the need for emergency food assistance is.
To make matters worse, market access deteriorated across all regions; as heavy snowfall and rain blocked roads in January 17 percent of households reported being unable to access markets in the previous two weeks, compared with 3 percent in December.
As of end-January, 95 percent of the population have insufficient food consumption. Some areas saw a deterioration, such as the Central Highlands and North regions where food consumption is already the poorest. In addition, the number of people with severe food insecurity increased in Kabul, North and West regions.