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Afghanistan: nearly 19 million Afghans highly food insecure due to drought, conflict & economic collapse


Afghanistan’s protracted food crisis has deepened and widened with a record high of nearly 19 million people experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity, classified in Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phases 3 or 4), between September and October 2021, due to a devastating combination of drought, conflict and economic collapse. Among these, about 6.8 million people, mainly located in the country’s northern half, are experiencing critical levels of acute food insecurity, classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The food security situation is highly concerning by any measure. People are experiencing spiralling levels of acute food insecurity in both rural and urban Afghanistan and need urgent lifesaving support to prevent catastrophic levels of food insecurity, and livelihood assistance to help households recover.
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Afghanistan has suffered some of the deadliest conflicts and recurrent natural disasters for over four decades, resulting in a protracted food crisis affecting millions of people. Food insecurity and hunger persist. Due to a combination of frequent shocks, including conflict, insecurity, population displacement, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as natural disasters such as droughts, floods, crop pest invasions and earthquakes, millions of people do not have the resources to obtain enough nutritious food to lead healthy lives consistently.
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Actions Needed

  • Humanitarian Assistance: Urgent scale-up of lifesaving food assistance is imperative for the populations classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) to prevent them from sliding into higher levels of food insecurity, including Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) for the most food insecure.
  • Livelihood Support: Scale-up of livelihood assistance for the winter wheat season, the spring season crops and vulnerable herding households is essential to prevent further deterioration of household food production capacity in rural areas.
  • Focus on Women and Children: Supporting women and children in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is a priority intervention. Programs targeting pregnant and lactating women and children under five should be a top priority.

IPC Classification Maps

Population in IPC Phases

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