Afghanistan is experiencing one of its worst droughts in a decade. The most recent rainfall season (November 2010 to April 2011) was extremely poor, especially between November and January. The exceptional lack of precipitation is having severe repercussions in the north, northeast, central highlands and northwest parts of the country, with substantial losses of rainfed wheat crops, below-average irrigated wheat crops, and poor pasture conditions.
A WFP-led rapid emergency food security assessment was undertaken in July and August, indicating 2.6 million people in 14 provinces have been severely affected and require emergency food assistance. These provinces, generally considered the grain basket of Afghanistan, are Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Faryab, Ghor,
Hirat, Jawzjan, Kunduz, Samangan, Sar-i-Pul and Takhar. Drought-affected populations face food insecurity due to both reduced food availability from their own production, as well as loss of income from agricultural labour, causing reduced access to food even if available in markets through imports. The Government has endorsed the drought emergency through the 2012 consolidated appeals process.