Afghanistan remains a complex and protracted humanitarian emergency, fueled by the convergence of decades of conflict, the impact of natural disasters, and widespread economic challenges. Entrenched conflict and violence related to a growth in civilian-targeted attacks, an escalation of air strikes, and election-related violence in 2019 resulted in unprecedented levels of humanitarian need and the forced displacement of over 437,000 people.1 The impacts of conflict were compounded by the damaging effects of natural disasters, specifically flash flooding in the first six months of 2019 and the lingering impact of years of severe drought. Decades of exposure to prolonged conflict and natural disaster have left the most vulnerable people with depleted economic resources and continuously facing challenges accessing basic services and ensuring their own survival. Understanding the needs of recently shock-affected and acutely vulnerable people is critical to providing a comprehensive humanitarian response, improving their living conditions, and strengthening their coping capacity.
A multi-sector Whole of Afghanistan Assessment (WoAA) was conducted in 2019 to provide an evidence base for the humanitarian community to better understand the sectoral, inter-sectoral and multi-sectoral needs of crisis- affected populations across Afghanistan. The WoAA was implemented through a nation-wide structured household survey conducted between 17 July and 19 September 2019 in accessible areas throughout all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. Over 30,000 interviews were carried out amongst a representative sample of displaced and non- displaced shock-affected households,2 using random cluster sampling. The WoAA 2019 operated as one of the main data sources to inform strategic-level planning within the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC) for 2020, providing evidence for the 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and the updating of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2018-2021. The assessment was conducted within the framework of the Inter-Cluster Coordination Team (ICCT) and facilitated by REACH, in close collaboration with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and all clusters present in Afghanistan.
This report presents the key findings of the WoAA generated through a Multi-Sector Needs Index (MSNI) analysis. The MSNI analytic framework incorporates elements of the draft Joint Inter-Sectoral Analysis Framework (JIAF) and is proposed by REACH as a standardised approach for the 2019 multi-sectoral needs assessments. The MSNI consists of calculating a multi-sectoral needs score based on a severity scale that categorises household needs as either minimal / no need (1), stress (2), severe (3), or extreme (4).
Findings are statistically representative of the displaced population (IDP and cross-border returnee households) in each province, with a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error, and for all population groups at the regional level with the same level of precision (95/5).3 The findings presented in the report are subject to several limitations, including: interviews only being carried out with the head of household resulting in the perspective of female members being under-represented, security concerns preventing access to all areas and leading to half of the interviews in Farah province being conducted using paper form, findings not being generalisable to hard-to-reach areas, and a possible overestimation of needs by respondents expecting a consequent increase in assistance.4