Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Key Message Update, May 2019

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Positive development of wheat crops most likely leading to a near-average harvest

Key Messages

  • Food security outcomes across the country are most likely to continue to gradually improve as the main harvest begins in late May/early June. As a result, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are most likely to emerge. However, undocumented returnees, households with lower-than-average remittances, and those displaced due to conflict and floods are anticipated to face Crisis IPC (Phase 3) outcomes. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are also most likely in areas still recovering from the drought with continued conflict preventing access to agricultural activities.

  • Above average cumulative 2018/19 precipitation is supporting favorable wheat and pasture development. Rainfed and irrigated wheat are developing normally across most of the country. Preliminary findings from field assessments indicate area planted for both rainfed and irrigated wheat is above last year and near the five-year average. Above average pasture conditions are facilitating the return of livestock body conditions to near normal; however, insecurity is preventing some households from accessing pasture.

  • The 2019 spring flooding occurred at near average levels, with only localized impacts on the cereal harvests. Flood occurred in March through May mostly in valleys and in urban area in parts of Southern, Western, Northwestern, Northern, and Center regions. According to OCHA, flash flooding as of May 13, due to heavy rain on snow has affected nearly 252,000 people in 18 provinces. Heavy rainfall in late May in the northern part of the country, affected 550 people.

  • Income from labor and remittances remains below-average. Overall, agriculture labor availability is similar to average; however, wages are below average. Remittances from Gulf countries are continuing as normal, although, remittances from Iran continue to decrease. Fewer migrants are choosing Iran as a destination as the Iranian Rial continues to devaluate compared to the USD. Most people who would typically migrate are preferring to stay in country. As a result of restricted incomes, households are increasing their dependence on using credit to purchase food or agricultural inputs.