Afghanistan Key Message Update, May 2018
Below-average staple production and limited availability of livestock products are contributing to worse outcomes compared to recent years
Aggregate wheat production in 2018 is expected to be less than last year and the five-year average, due primarily to below-average 2017/2018 precipitation in most areas, including drought conditions in much of the north. Initial reports indicate that approximately 60 to 70 percent of rainfed wheat production areas have suffered damages due to dryness, while general conditions for irrigated wheat are worse than last year due to limited availability of irrigation water in some areas, pests, diseases, and erratic distribution of rainfall near the end of the season.
Normal imports of wheat flour from Kazakhstan and Pakistan are expected to continue, supporting market availability and seasonally typical prices despite reduced domestic production. However, many poor households who are heavily dependent on own rainfed production and/or on labor opportunities in rainfed areas will have lower capacity to make needed market purchases during the coming months, and are likely to face food consumption gaps later on during the lean season in the absence of humanitarian assistance.
Food security outcomes in the agropastoral areas are worse than is typical during the spring and summer months. Livestock productivity and body conditions are below normal levels in many areas due to very poor rangeland conditions, leading to low income from livestock sales and limited household availability of livestock products. Most rangeland areas have received well below average rainfall amounts, except for localized parts of western, southwestern, and southeastern provinces.
Many poor households impacted by drought conditions and/or conflict, and many non-documented returnees and internally displaced people whose livelihoods have been negatively impacted by either natural disasters or conflict are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) prior to harvests of wheat and other staple crops, as well as cash crops including orchard crops. Households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present throughout the provinces of the country.