Afghanistan’s food crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic with over 10 million acutely food insecure
Food insecurity remains alarmingly high in Afghanistan with continuing conflict, widespread unemployment, and price hikes, all exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 10.9 million people (35% of the population analysed) are estimated to be in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or above in the current period (April-May 2020). These include around 7.38 million people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 3.47 million people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). In total, four analysis areas were classified in IPC Phase 4 (Badakshan, Daykundi, Hirat Urban and Kandahar Urban).
After the harvest, it is likely the food insecurity situation will improve in rural areas, since households will have increased access to food from own production and prices may also decrease. Despite the overall reduction in people facing acute food insecurity, the number of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in urban areas is expected to increase in the projection period.
In urban centers, the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 are likely to counteract the positive impacts of the harvest. The severity will be higher in areas where humanitarian access is limited. Although food is still available in nearly all markets, the prices of basic food commodities increased by 10 to 20%. The lockdown measures put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic significantly decreased daily labour opportunities, reducing household purchasing power and food access