Afghanistan Key Message Update: Purchasing power improves for pastoralists at the national level, September 2020


Key Messages

  • Average wheat production and income from the sale of vegetables and fruits has increased access to food and income for poor rural households, with Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes prevalent 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, with Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes expected in main urban cities through at least January 2021.

  • According to the National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA) of Afghanistan, total wheat production in 2020 is estimated at around 5.1 million metric tons. This is six percent above last year and nice percent above the five-year average. Second-season crops are developing well and are currently in maturing stages, with the harvest expected to start in October. Overall, second-season production is expected to be average.

  • Food prices generally remained stable between July and August 2020, but at levels significantly above the three-year average and prices at the same time last year. The purchasing power of casual laborers as measured by the value of wages against wheat flour also remained stable between July and August 2020 at the national level, but remained 25 percent below the three-year average. However, the purchasing power of pastoralists as measured by the price of livestock against wheat flour increased slightly between July and August, reaching levels five percent above average. This is the first time that terms of trade for pastoralists have improved in recent months.

  • In August, there was a significant increase in displacement due to both natural disasters and conflict relative to previous months of 2020. Around 14,000 individuals were affected by natural disasters in August 2020 according to data from UN OCHA, with the majority impacted by flash floods in the central and eastern regions. Meanwhile, about 33,000 individuals were displaced in August because of conflicts, mostly in Kunduz province.