Afghanistan Key Message Update, July 2018
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist in many parts of the country due to the impacts of drought and continued conflict. Stable wheat flour prices and poor households’ income from the sale of potatoes, fruits, and other crops help reduce the impacts, though many are unable to meet their basic food and non-food needs through these sources. The onset of winter in November/December will drive more severe outcomes and more households will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The worst-affected households in parts Badakhshan Province and poor agro-pastoral households in parts of Bagdis, Faryab and Herat Province will be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through at least January 2019, in the absence of humanitarian assistance.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock estimate a national wheat production deficit of more than two million metric tons. Preliminary production estimates indicate the 2018 wheat harvest will be the lowest since 2011. The significantly below-average rainfed wheat harvest is due to inadequate precipitation during the 2017/18 wet season and high temperatures in June and July, with the greatest crop losses in the northern and central highland areas.
Poor households in the northern areas will be the most affected by the drought due to reduced household wheat stocks and income from on-farm labor where food consumption deficits will continue through the next harvest (Spring 2019). Poor households in central areas of the country dependent on remittances from migrant workers in Iran are expected to see a decrease in remittances and further weakening of the Iranian rial (IRR) against the U.S. Dollar (USD) and Afghani (AFN) to drive low incomes.
Insecurity and conflict continues and has expanded in 2018 throughout the country as the situation has deteriorated over the last few years with high levels of displacement. An estimated 167,000 people have been internally displaced in 2018, according to OCHA as of July 22nd, and while some live in camps and have access to assistance, others also rely on host community support. Most have limited access to their previous livelihood and are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Limited access in these areas delays assessments, preventing verification of displacement and needs of the displaced populations.