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Above average precipitation is anticipated to facilitate normal wheat crop development

  • Key Message Update
  • Afghanistan
  • March 2019
Above average precipitation is anticipated to facilitate normal wheat crop development

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Poor households impacted by conflict, drought, weak labor markets, and below average remittances, as well as more than 800,000 undocumented Afghan returnees remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as spring labor opportunities are not yet available and the lean season continues. Humanitarian food assistance is improving outcomes to Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) and Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) in Badghis, Ghor, and Herat provinces. Seasonal improvements in income and food access are likely with the harvest. However, displacement and reduced non-agricultural labor opportunities are expected to drive Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes throughout much of the country starting in late-April.

    • Above average precipitation and soil moisture across the country as reported in the March 19th Afghanistan Seasonal Monitor are anticipated to support healthy growth of winter and spring wheat and beneficial for ongoing land preparation/sowing activities. However, flash flooding due to heavy rain on snow displaced over 122,000 people as of March 19th according to OCHA, across 14 provinces. Helmand, Farah, Herat, and Kandahar provinces have been the most affected with flood waters closing roads and cutting off some isolated villages.

    • Agriculture labor opportunities are higher than the same time last year, although remain below average as competition for labor continues to increase. However, the average labor wage across monitored markets is almost the same compared to last year. Non-agriculture labor opportunities also remain below-average from lower investment in the country and decreased construction labor opportunities. This has resulted in limited household incomes, decreased purchasing power, and more households depending on credit to purchase foods.

    • Rangeland vegetative conditions are anticipated to be above average in most areas as winter transitions to spring as a result of above-average cumulative precipitation. The improved rangeland conditions are anticipated to improve agropastoral and pastoral household’s income as livestock and livestock products prices will likely increase. However, current livestock prices are below average and 5 percent below the five-year average. The sale of one sheep allows a household to buy 230kg of wheat, due to a 12 percent decline in sheep prices compared to last year at the same time.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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