Climate extremes and environmental degradation are contributing to vulnerability in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change: rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns and increasingly frequent extreme weather events. Currently, Afghanistan is experiencing its worst drought in 27 years, which, compounded with COVID-19 and the economic contraction that followed the takeover of the government by the Taliban in August 2021, has significantly increased livelihood and food insecurity and contributed to a growing humanitarian emergency.
- Climate change exacerbates the deteriorating conditions for agriculture-based livelihoods and food insecurity.
- Conflict and the effects of climate change have increased internal displacement and changed migration patterns. High levels of displacement accentuate food and livelihood insecurity and increase the vulnerability of marginalised groups, including women.
- The effects of climate change may heighten the risk of more frequent and intense local conflicts over land and water and increase tensions over transboundary resources.
- Conflict has eroded the resilience of communities and local authorities to adapt to climate change and to deal with the current humanitarian crisis. This creates opportunities for elites to manipulate and profit from land and water disputes, with elevated risks for marginalised groups.
Through the Special Trust Fund and the Area-based Approach for Development Emergency Initiatives (ABADEI) strategy, United Nations (UN) specialised agencies and partners should work coherently with local communities to manage climate-related security risks linked to livelihood deterioration, including by improving irrigation infrastructure and sustainable natural resource management practices. These measures should be aimed at promoting social cohesion.