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Afghanistan Nutrition Cluster - 2019 Annual Report

Govt. Afghanistan
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Afghanistan is currently facing one of the most complex and protracted humanitarian emergencies in the world, which is characterized by open internal conflict between government and opposition groups, major internal displacement, increasing food insecurity and high malnutrition rates, limited access to basic services and access challenges to crisis affected areas. Political instability, natural disasters, food insecurity and poverty have resulted in significant population displacement.

From 1 January 2019 to 15 January 2020, 440,363 people forced to leave their homes due to conflict. (OCHA conflict induced displacement tracking). The current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is widespread and severe, with 9.4 million people in need of humanitarian and protection assistance (OCHA Afghanistan HRP 2020).


The nutritional status of children under five and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) continues to be alarming in most parts of Afghanistan. Ongoing conflict, low access to basic services, and impact of natural disasters have exacerbated the existing vulnerabilities of communities, contributing towards high rates of acute malnutrition.

The findings of most recent nutrition surveys across Afghanistan showed that 22 out of 34 provinces are currently above the emergency level threshold of acute malnutrition based on WHO classification of wasting rates for children under the age of five (global acute malnutrition (GAM) ≥10 per cent with aggravating factors ). The impact of the drought in 2018 is extended through mid-2019, further aggravating the poor nutritional situation.

The analysis of data from nutrition assessments shows the nutritional status of children under the age of five and PLW continues to worsen due to multiple underlying factors. A mean increase of 3.5 per cent in GAM was seen across 10 provinces in late 2019 compared to 2018.

The deterioration of the nutrition situation across most parts of the country is being driven by a series of complex and multi-faceted factors – including poor access to health services, acute household food insecurity (due to shocks and chronic poverty), sub-optimal childcare and feeding practices, poor access to water and sanitation, as well as conflict-related shocks. The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and frequent disasters contributed to disruption of the health system that is already overburdened by the protracted emergency in the country.