Drought Response: Cash for Work Programmes

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The World Food Programme’s August 2011 Drought Emergency Food Security Assessment for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan found that in 2011, there was a “high percentage [of] wheat losses compared to 2010”. The report stated that Badakshan province had experienced a 79% decline in the harvest of irrigated wheat and an 80% decline in the harvest of rain-fed wheat in comparison to 2010 figures. These statistics are consistent with Concern-Afghanistan’s findings from the field, with farmers from Yawan, Badakshan reporting serious decreases in wheat harvests.

Sayed Islam, farmer from Murch village: In 2010 he collected 350kgs of wheat and 10 Qenar (bags) of straw from 35kg of wheat seeds sown on one jerib of land. This year, his yield was only 58kgs of wheat and 2 Qenar of straw from the same amount of seed on the same plot of land.

Mohammad Ismail, farmer from Bare Yawan: stated that last year he collected 280kgs of wheat and 5 Qenar of straw from 28kgs of seeds. However, this year, the same plot of land and seeds only produced 147kgs of wheat.

Haji Alem, farmer from Nawabad village: In 2011, his yield was 420kgs of wheat and 10 Qenar of straw from 28kgs of wheat seeds. This year, his land only produced 70kg of wheat from the same amount of seeds.

In line with the WFP’s recommendations, and with donor (OXFAM & Irish Aid) and partner support (OXFAM), Concern-Afghanistan has responded to this drought and subsequent food insecurity with Cash for Work (CFW) programmes for those families who can supply appropriate labour, and Direct Cash Transfers (DCT) for the poorest and most vulnerable families which cannot. As of October 2011, Concern Afghanistan has employed 250 males & 90 females in Yawan. In total, 1,550 households are expected to benefit from the Cash for Work programmes, with a further 300 people receiving direct cash transfers. We have set a target of 40% for direct female beneficiaries.