High acute food insecurity persists across Afghanistan, as a combination of a collapsing economy and drought is depriving nearly 20 million Afghans of food, classified in Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phases 3 or 4), between March and May 2022 (the lean season), latest data shows. Among these are about 6.6 million people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and 13 million in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
A significant amount of Humanitarian Food Assistance (HFA), however, Afghanistan’s food security situation remains highly concerning, exacerbated by economic decline and high food prices. Afghanistan’s economy is in free fall and food and fuel prices are rising, depriving the Afghan people of food. The country is also in the grip of one of the worst droughts in decades, curtailing food production. High levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) are observed in rural and urban Afghanistan. There is a need for urgent lifesaving support to prevent Catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 5) and livelihood assistance to help households recover.
Between June and November 2022 (the post-harvest season), a slight improvement in food security is expected, with the number of people in IPC Phase 3 or above likely decreasing to around 19 million. However, this represents a nearly 16% increase from the same period last year (9.5 million people). Out of 19 million people, 6 million will likely be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and 13 million in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The number of areas in Emergency is expected to decrease in the projection period, which coincides with the post-harvest season, from 21 to 12 analytical domains. It is likely that household food access during the post-harvest season will slightly improve due to the expected harvest (although still below the average due to the La Nina climatic episode) along with the easing of sanctions on Afghanistan. This will likely facilitate a range of commercial activity in Afghanistan, decreased conflict, increased humanitarian access and planned humanitarian assistance delivery during the projection period. However, the impact of high food prices, remaining sanctions on the de facto authorities, unemployment, and a significant decrease in income and purchasing power of communities are the major impediments that avoid a considerable improvement during the post-harvest period.