Summary of needs to be addressed by the cluster
Afghanistan is facing one of the deadliest conflicts across the globe. Fighting continues to affect most of the country by exposing civilians to daily deadly risks, causing mass displacement and livelihoods lost. Years of shocks have caused severe damage to coping capacity and little hope of recovery for local inhabitants. Poverty is on the rise, over 80 per cent of people are living on less than the internationally applied poverty line (US$1.90 per day) to meet their basic needsresulting in chronic malnutrition, severe food insecurity, and one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates globally. This chronic situation of people exacerbates the humanitarian crisis which has become more intense and more geographically extensive.
The cumulative impact of conflict and natural disaster driven shocks; loss of employment and reduced income has resulted in high levels of food insecurity and eroded livelihoods in Afghanistan. Despite having good level of precipitation and harvest in 2019, food security situation is still alarming. Based on IPC analysis 2019, between August and October 2019, a total of 12.58 million people (34% of the total population) are in severe acute food insecurity situation. These include around 9.57 million people in a crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 3 million people in emergency situation (IPC Phase 4). The IPC 2019 results show that the situation will deteriorate between November 2019 and March 2020; around 13.9 million people (38% of the total population) are estimated to experience severe acute food insecurity, out of which an estimated 3.3 million people will be in emergency (IPC Phase 4) and another 10.5 million in crisis (IPC Phase 3).
Various food security indicators in Seasonal Food Security Assessment (SFSA, 2019) confirm this situation. 19% of the surveyed households reported poor food consumption and another 40% reported borderline. People are food insecure in terms of coping capacity, too. About 21% of households are using crisis strategies and 27% are using emergency coping mechanisms for meeting their food needs, while 30% of the households use stress strategies. Households are exposed to multiple shocks; In the SFSA 2019 major four shocks reported by the households, of the 63% who experienced shocks, are reduced income (25%), loss of employment (29%) followed by natural disaster (12%) and huge increase in food prices (9%). These shocks gradually eroded rural livelihoods of households and pushed more than one fifth of the population to resort to negative emergency coping strategies.
As per SFSA 2019, 42% of farmers reported lack of wheat seeds for the planting season and another 41% reported that their seeds stock is insufficient for 2019 winter cultivation season. Moreover, livestock destocking due to last year drought has affected the livestock-based livelihoods of the rural community that its impacts are still visible. Additionally, conflict displacement, influx of returnees and refuges from Iran and Pakistan put extra strain on the food security situation across the country.
Conflict remained one of the main drivers of humanitarian needs in 2019. As per various assessments conducted in different areas, food insecurity remains very high among conflict affected IDP’s. Food security and agriculture cluster projected 350,000 conflict affected IDP’s in need of food assistance out of a caseload of 500,000 as per the last 5 years trends data.
Natural disasters continue to impact food and livelihoods of Afghan population. Along with the underlying impact of drought that caused wide spread food insecurity floods remained one of the larger drivers of needs in 2019. In 2019 almost 300,000 people were affected by a-typically severe floods in 24 provinces, including many that are not usually affected by flooding. Some of those affected, especially in rural areas, continue to have emergency food and livelihoods needs to maintain their well-being and support recovery from this state of acute vulnerability. Projections show that another 200,000 people will be newly affected by floods, avalanches and landslides across Afghanistan in 2020. Based on the WoA Assessment and FSAC partner response data, 170,000 non-displaced natural disaster affected people will need food and livelihoods assistance in 2020.