Conflict and climatic factors are having a huge impact on food security in Afghanistan.
Four decades of conflict and recurrent natural disasters have debilitated Afghanistan’s institutions and weakened the resilience of its people, making it nearly impossible for communities to adequately cope with further shocks. In 2018, the most severe drought in decades, compounded by conflict, a significant economic downturn, plant pests, animal diseases, and internal and cross-border movements have contributed to a sharp erosion of the food security situation in the country. Impacts of the drought include insufficient food access, adoption of negative coping mechanisms, loss of livelihoods and productive assets – including land, indebtedness, major damages and losses in cultivated areas, distress sale of livestock, further internal displacement and migration.
Afghanistan is experiencing a major food security and livelihoods crisis, currently the world’s third largest. According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Afghanistan Report #10 (2018), an estimated, an estimated 13.5 million people are facing severe acute food insecurity – 6 million more than this time last year. Of the total number, 3.6 million are facing emergency levels of food insecurity nationwide. In the past five years, the country has experienced a steady decline in wheat production mainly due to climatic factors and conflict. Without immediate livelihood support, in a country where more than 70 percent of the population is associated with crop production and livestock, the food security situation is expected to deteriorate further. This could result in the food insecurity situation becoming more acute as the lean season progresses during the spring and early summer.