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Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes persist in Ghor despite the resumption of assistance delivery

  • Key Message Update
  • Afghanistan
  • March 2023
Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes persist in Ghor despite the resumption of assistance delivery

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Humanitarian assistance distributions continue to mitigate the size of food consumption deficits for millions of households across Afghanistan. However, many poor households continue to face difficulty accessing food due to low purchasing power associated with low income and high prices. In many cases, the years of conflict and poor macroeconomic conditions have eroded household livelihoods. In Ghor Province, where assistance distributions resumed in late March but the reach of assistance is much lower than the population in need, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes persist. In areas of the country where humanitarians are able to distribute significant assistance, Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) and Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are ongoing. In other areas of concern in the central and northeastern highlands, including in Badakhshan and Nuristan, some households are likely in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

    • In March, WFP distributed humanitarian assistance to around 9.2 million people in Afghanistan, comprising food, nutrition, and livelihood assistance. Due to funding reductions in March, food rations were reduced from a 75 percent ration to a 50 percent ration for over 4 million people nationwide. In late March, WFP resumed food distribution to Ghor Province, targeting around 13 percent of the population. Additionally, WFP continued high levels of assistance delivery to Badakhshan, Faryab, Paktika, and Nangarhar, along with many other areas, including urban areas. The largest disbursement of humanitarian assistance was in Kabul, where nearly 1.0 million people were reached.

    • Cumulative precipitation from October to March has been below average across much of the country, with increasing precipitation deficits in the northeast. In the month of March, specifically, precipitation was above average in southern Afghanistan but below average in the rest of the country. February and March precipitation is important for spring wheat planting. Snow depth across the country is at below-average levels due to the unseasonal warm temperatures from mid-February to mid-March. Snow water volumes are approaching record-low levels in some basins. Due to the lower snow water volumes, there are some concerns for crop development in irrigated downstream areas.

    • While March rainfall was below average, ground moisture conditions were favorable following precipitation in late February, encouraging farmers to increase wheat planting. The second phase of spring (rainfed) wheat planting concluded in late March at near-average levels in northern and some northeastern areas. Planting is expected to be near to above the five-year average. Spring wheat planting is expected to continue through April in higher-elevation areas.

    • Between February and March, staple food prices declined across the country; however, they remain elevated compared to the two-year average. The national average prices of wheat grain, wheat flour, and domestic and imported rice decreased by up to seven percent from February to March. Diesel prices fell by 11 percent between the same months. The declines in diesel prices contributed to lower transportation costs, reflected in lower food commodities prices in March. Overall, however, below-average purchasing power due to below-normal income levels and slightly elevated food prices continue to limit poor households’ access to food across the country, and income-earning opportunities are particularly scarce in the highlands, especially Ghor, Badakshan, and Nuristan.

    FEWS NET. Afghanistan Key Message Update March 2023 to September 2023: Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes persist in Ghor despite the resumption of assistance delivery, 2023.

    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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