Afghanistan Key Message Update, September 2018
Due to drought, high levels of food assistance needs will persist through the start of the lean season
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present throughout Afghanistan due to declining purchasing power, disruption of normal livelihoods due to conflict, and poor rainfed staple performance and will contribute to the increased food assistance needs as compared to recent years. Poor households dependent on rainfed wheat production, particularly in northern, northeastern, and northwestern areas, are expected to experience difficulty meeting consumption requirements until next year’s spring harvest. The worst-affected households will likely experience Emergency (IPC Phase 4) as large food deficits emerge with the onset of winter in.
Conflict continues to drive displacement and disrupt livelihoods, with an estimated 225,166 people displaced to date in 2018. Many of the newly displaced population are likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the absence of assistance as they have lost access to their normal livelihood activities. External assistance will be necessary throughout the upcoming winter to mitigate food consumption gaps, as employment opportunities will be limited and remittances from neighboring countries are significantly below-average.
Since January 2018, over 562,00 undocumented Afghani nationals have repatriated from Iran and Pakistan. Undocumented returnees are migrating from Iran primarily due to the devaluation of the Iranian Rial and worsening economic situation in Iran. Many of the nearly 12,000 documented 2018 returnees from Pakistan as well as the thousands of undocumented returnees are likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.
Households have started preparing for the winter wheat planting season, likely starting in October. The area planted for winter wheat is anticipated to be higher than last year due to the increased likelihood of El Niño. Due to the forecasted El Niño, there is an increased likelihood of average to above-average precipitation during the 2018/19 wet season however, there remains a large spread of possible precipitation outcomes for the season.