Section 1: CLUSTER NEEDS ANALYSIS
a) Summary of needs to be addressed by the cluster
The combined impact of acute drought – the worst in more than three decades – and economic collapse in the second half of 2021 has generated a hunger crisis of unprecedented proportions in Afghanistan, with some 22.8 million people projected to face acute food insecurity (IPC3 and IPC4) by the start of 2022. The hunger crisis today is a combination of compounded shocks which have driven a year-on-year decline in food security (from 27% IPC3+ in September 2017, to 55% of the population today) combined with an unprecedented nationwide economic crisis in 2021 which left the population without means of coping. Further shocks on the horizon, including another drought season, will drive the country to the edge: without a significant shift in the FSAC strategy in Afghanistan, and the resources to accompany it, food assistance will remain vastly insufficient to offset the crisis needs and livelihoods will be depleted - resulting in a humanitarian catastrophe and loss of life.
Against this backdrop, in 2022, the FSAC will work to prevent populations in acute hunger (IPC3+) from becoming IPC4 and IPC5 and aim to reduce the peak number of people in IPC3 and IPC4 by the end of the year. This will be achieved through a combination of (a) a large-scale crisis safety net in targeting populations in acute food insecurity in rural and urban areas to be able to predictably meet their most basic food needs during the compounded crisis, mitigating loss of life, hunger-induced conflict and migration, and further loss to resilience gains in education and livelihoods; and (b) a substantial uplift in support to protect critical livelihoods in rural and urban areas, with particular attention to agriculture and livestock-based livelihoods, to prevent total systemic collapse in rural areas which would lead to widespread catastrophe and massive humanitarian impacts on people across the country.
Food and livelihood assistance will be coordinated and integrated, with priority first in areas in IPC Phase 4, to protect livelihoods support, including through coordinated delivery of seeds and food assistance. Critically, FSAC and the nutrition cluster interventions are also coordinated, leveraging the food assistance platform to deliver a malnutrition prevention package – in turn maximizing outreach as well as impact of the nutrition assistance by ensuring that women and children benefit from both a nutrition and food assistance support.
Emergency livelihood assistance will be provided to the most vulnerable farmers, herders, and landless people to sustain the local production of food, protect productive assets, and boost short-term income streams. This will include timely provision of assorted crop seeds (wheat, maize, pulses, fertilizers), and tools to households with access to land; supporting women in backyard production of nutritious foods (vegetables and poultry) and support to herders to maintain their livestock alive and healthy through distribution of animal feed, fodder seed and deworming kits; and support to environmental rehabilitation and protection from natural hazards to enable increased production (including irrigation canals, dams, soil and water conservation, flood protection, etc.).
About 2 million people will receive cash assistance either in the form of unconditional cash transfers to vulnerable households headed by women / persons with disability / elderly or in the form of food/cash for work/assets to rehabilitate or construct livelihoods assets at individual and community level. In urban areas,
FSAC partners will support vulnerable men, women and youth including displaced, returnees and refugees through skills building and marketing including in carpentry, embroidery, electricity, plumbing, and computer skills