The Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC) has been a central part of the humanitarian response in Afghanistan since 2008. The FSAC is co-led by the World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with a Non-governmental organization (NGO, currently WHH) as co-chair. Over 172 partner organizations country-wide are active in the FSAC, including NGOs (international and national), relevant Government ministries (central and regional departments), United Nations (UN) agencies and donors.
FSAC response strategy 2019 includes food assistance through cash and in-kind modalities, agriculture kit, vegetable kit, livestock kit and poultry. It’s important to use uniform approach as per minimum acceptable humanitarian standards across the country where relevant to avoid inequality, harm and improper utilization of already stretched resources. In case of significant change in the context like vulnerability or market price changes, the packages need to be better explained to justify humanitarian intervention. These guidelines are thoroughly discussed with FSAC partners, donors and humanitarian agencies in various FSAC meetings and approved and agreed by all relevant stakeholders including government.
Food Assistance: Food assistance is one of the largest intervention in the humanitarian response strategy. Basic rules to design food assistance package are;
- Minimum 2100 Kcal/person/day for emergencies but it varies with climatic conditions, type of work/livelihoods and vulnerable groups
- Family size
- Nutritional balance
- Cultural food habits and practices
- Cost associated with transportation and cooking
- Specific need coming from evidence-based assessment (nutritional deficiency etc.)
- Overall needs vs funding availability
- Logistic constraints
- Equality, equity and do no harm
- Host government technical ministry recommendations
FSAC partners agreed to have separate food basket for cash and in-kind response because of multiple challenges including logistic constraints associated with in-kind distribution. In kind food basket agreed for Afghanistan is:
In-Kind response food basket must include 100 Kg medium quality wheat flour, 7.5 Kg pulses, 7 letter oil and half kg salt to provide 2100 Kcal/person/day. WFP also include 2.1 Kg high energy biscuits and 1.5 Kg plumpyDoz.
FSAC partners agreed to have below mentioned food basket for cash and vouchers programs. Price of the same basket is different in different regions, so cash programs needs to be adjusted as per the prices in the local market with same commodity and quantity of the food items. This is agreed between WFP, ERM and all other partners to use same cash food basket for cash as below and same food basket for in-kind as above.