Main wheat harvest is complete in most areas, while food prices remain above average
The main harvest of wheat is now complete in lower elevation areas, while it is ongoing in higher elevation areas. Near average wheat production has increased access to food for poor rural households, improving outcomes to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in most rural areas. Meanwhile, below-average labor opportunities and above-average food prices remain a concern and threaten the food security of the urban poor. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in main urban cities through January 2021.
Above-average cumulative precipitation during the October 2019–March 2020 rainy season has improved pasture conditions, resulting in average livestock productivity and body conditions. Due to Eid Ul Azha at end of July, already above-average livestock prices have increased throughout July as is typical, by 3 percent at the national level according to data from WFP. Additionally, favorable weather during the summer facilitated above-average production of fruits — mostly melons and watermelons — this season. Planting of second season crops — mainly maize and rice — has started in most of the country, with near average land area expected to be planted.
Due to impacts of COVID-19 on economies and labor availability abroad, remittances from Iran and Pakistan are still significantly below average, reducing access to income for poor households in both urban and rural areas. Availability of agricultural labor opportunities is near average in rural areas, while availability of casual labor opportunities in main urban areas improved in June and early July according to data from WFP, but remains below average and below last year’s levels. Meanwhile, casual labor wages in June were near average at the national level according to MAIL data, though significant variation exists across provinces.
Levels of insecurity and conflict-induced displacement are below average and lower than the same time last year, but are still disturbing lives and livelihoods. In June and July 2020, around 11,500 people were displaced due to conflict according to UNOCHA. During this time, the majority of displacements occurred in northeastern areas (over 6,000 people), followed by northern areas (over 2,500 people).