IRC Afghanistan - Drought Assessment - June 2021

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Between May 4th -12th, 2021 the International Rescue Committee (IRC) conducted a drought needs assessment in the provinces of Herat, Badghis, Pakitya, Helmand and Khost to get a clear understanding of the impact of the situation caused by the extreme weather conditions that have affected different parts of the world including Afghanistan. A sample from 484 community members was selected for this survey. In each of the five provinces, the assessment was conducted in three districts hence covering 15 districts and 158 villages. All the respondents were community members above 18 years in the target areas. The results show that the water resources are increasingly being strained as result of slow onset drought conditions, with reported cases of increased conflict over water in various communities. Pastoralists have started experiencing loss of livestock and strain on pastoral livelihoods due to the early drought conditions and this will worsen in the coming days while market prices for basic food commodities have started rising and it has already been reported that some households have not been able meet their food needs. Population movements especially in Herat and Badghis have also reportedly been increasing. To prevent large-scale displacement, early response is required to support households faced with challenges of food security and livelihoods in form of cash-based assistance or food distributions. Livelihood support should also be prioritized to protect household assets including provision of livestock fodder and veterinary service. This drought assessment report did not include the other major humanitarian factors such as COVID-19, food security situation and conflict, which impact the lives of the Afghans as a whole.