Key Message Update

Below-average cumulative precipitation likely to impact crops and pasture conditions

January 2021

January 2021

This map of Afghanistan shows most of the country in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Most of Ghor, Daykundi, and Uruzgan in the central part of the country are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), as are some urban areas.

February - May 2021

This map of Afghanistan shows most of the country in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Most of Ghor, Daykundi, Uruzgan, Samangan, Bamyan, Wardak, and Ghazni in the central part of the country and Badakhshan and Nuristan in the northeastern part of the country are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), as are some urban areas.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • As of January 25, cumulative precipitation for the 2020/21 season has been below average in most provinces. Contrary to earlier forecasts, mean temperatures have been below average across most of the country from mid-November to early January 2020. According to key informants, these conditions delayed winter wheat cultivation in Kabul, Parwan, Balkh, and Samangan provinces. Though complete geographical information is limited, concern for damage to the wheat crop due to cold temperatures exists in Badghis, Bamyan, Daykundi, Logar, and Paktya provinces. Meanwhile, below-average precipitation forecast across the country through May is cause for concern for both winter and spring wheat production.

  • After increasing from October to December 2020, the number of daily new COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan has been generally declining in January 2021, although underreporting of cases remains a concern. According to the Ministry of Public Health, 234,453 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 as of January 21, 2021, while 54,672 (23 percent) have tested positive, suggesting limited testing capacity. The Afghanistan government and its borders are all open, facilitating normal trade of food items. Overall, while significant additional negative impacts on food security are not expected in the coming months, prolonged impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are still visible in Afghanistan. In particular, below-average numbers of migrant workers in Iran are expected to be contributing to below-average remittances for both rural and urban households.

  • According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, food prices in main markets in December 2020 remained above average, mainly due to higher prices of imported food items in source markets including, notably, wheat in Kazakhstan. At the national level, wheat flour prices in Afghanistan were stable from November to December 2020, though at levels 11 percent higher than last year and 27 percent higher than the three-year average.

  • In most rural areas, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are widespread and are expected to persist throughout the projection period. However, in areas that harvested lower amounts and in areas worst affected by conflict, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely during the remainder of the lean season. Throughout the country, an increasing number of poor households—particularly those with below-average stocks or who are adversely affected by lower remittances—are expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as the lean season progresses and stocks are exhausted.

  • In urban areas, lower availability of income-earning opportunities during winter, below-average remittances, and above-average food prices are likely to restrict access to food and income for many poor households, with Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes expected throughout the projection period in the absence of assistance. As implementation of the COVID-19 relief program progresses, households receiving humanitarian assistance are likely to improve to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) until they exhaust the assistance. According to available information as of January 29, a total 3,020 urban households (around 21,000 people, representing less than 1 percent of the population) across 13 provincial capitals have so received this assistance.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics