IPC Alert: Over 10 million people severely food insecure in Afghanistan

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  • Between August and October 2019, it is estimated that a total of 10.23 million people (33% of the total population) were in severe acute food insecurity and require urgent humanitarian action. These include around 7.79 million people in a Crisis situation (IPC Phase 3) and 2.44 million people in an Emergency situation (IPC Phase 4). Around 10.37 million people were also in a Stressed situation (IPC Phase 2) and require livelihood support.

  • Between November 2019 and March 2020, around 11.3 million people (37% of the total population) are estimated to likely experience severe acute food insecurity, out of which an estimated 8.6 million people will likely be in a Crisis situation (IPC Phase 3) and nearly 2.7 million people will likely be in an Emergency situation (IPC Phase 4). Furthermore, around 9.45 million people will be in a Stressed situation (IPC Phase 2).

Actions Needed

Response priorities:

  • Urgent action is required to save lives, protect livelihoods, and reduce food consumption gaps of populations classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) and IPC Phase 3 (Crisis).

  • Humanitarian Food Assistance in kind or cash should be provided to the households facing severe acute food insecurity. Food for Asset activities should be further promoted.

  • The majority of the farmers do not have enough seeds of their own wheat for next season and most of the farmers are not able to obtain seeds from any sources in sufficient quantity or will not find them at all. It is highly recommended to assist the farmers in terms of agriculture-based livelihood response.

  • The complex context of Afghanistan including ethnically diverse people, rugged terrain and unrelenting civil unrest needs to be taken into account when developing strategies for food and livelihood security programming.

  • Considering the regular occurrence of environmental shocks, stakeholders should also focus their attention and funding on programs to build resilience to disasters and reduce disaster risks.

  • Improving and strengthening water irrigation systems through livelihoods programmes.

Situations to monitor:

  • Performance of the labour market, including any declines in employment opportunities that would potentially impact the livelihood strategies of vulnerable groups;

  • Changes in food prices, especially the price of wheat, rice, maize and pulses, and especially in the winter months ,which are the peak of the lean season when prices are expected to increase slightly;

  • Abnormal rainfall patterns which would increase the probability of natural hazards such as droughts and floods;

  • Deterioration of security situation in provinces which trigger the displacement of rural population to cities;

  • Uncertainty of political context and upcoming election which may strongly impact the security situation which will ultimately negatively impact the food security situation; and

  • El Niño conditions: Both excessive and insufficient rainfalls could have negative implications on the upcoming planting and/or harvesting seasons and additional food and livelihood emergency response may be needed.

Read the Afghanistan IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis August 2019 – March 2020 Issued in November 2019 here.