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Afghanistan: Drought - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) update n° 2; DREF n° MDRAF004

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Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

This operation update is issued to inform one month no cost extension of the operation due to the delay of the replenishment of food parcels.

Summary of current response context

Poor precipitation during the winter of 2017/2018 in the mountainous regions of Hindu-Kush is responsible for the severe drought that hit Afghanistan in the first half of 2018, particularly over the northwestern regions. These semi-arid/arid areas rely heavily on rain and melted snow flowing from the mountains for the majority of their water resources. As most of Western Afghanistan does not receive any precipitation between June and October, the lack of it in earlier months compromises water supply for the rest of the year.

The drought caused losses to the rural communities (70 per cent of population live in rural areas) and forced people to move toward makeshift camps and cities, to avoid famine as many people have been left without enough food to feed their families. Helmand ANDMA reported about 1,400 individuals displaced from Khanshin to Lashkargah due to drought and lack of water. As part of the drought response in rural areas, WFP and its partners delivered 3,500 metric tons of food for more than 398,000 people in 13 provinces, in the last week of November (20-27 November). In the past month, more than 1.4 million people received food or cash from WFP as part of the ongoing full-scale drought response that plans to reach 2.5 million people by end of the year.

The Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) remains vigilant and have been monitoring the situation since the start of dry spell. ARCS is in close coordination with Afghan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) and Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC). ARCS Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was activated to coordinate with relevant stakeholders and update on the situation on regular basis. ARCS started coordination meetings with in country movement partners since May 2018.