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- Samangan and Badghis continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes associated with adverse impacts of drought, which drove below-average crop and livestock production. In the rest of the country, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are being supported by income from crop sales, available employment opportunities, and household consumption of own production. As households deplete food from own production and income seasonally declines with the winter, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to become more widespread in northern areas and in the northeastern and central highlands. In these areas, households are expected to be fully market reliant with continued lower than normal purchasing power.
- In August, humanitarian assistance reached 4.8 million people with a 50 percent ration. According to WFP, about 57.5 MT of food is available in warehouses in Afghanistan, with nearly 59 MT of food dispatched to Afghanistan. It is expected that humanitarians are starting winter stocking programs and have humanitarian food assistance to distribute over the coming months.
- Overall, the second-season harvest starting in September and continuing through mid-November is expected to be lower than normal nationally. Areas with lower elevation, predominantly in the north and east, face second-season crop losses associated with water shortages and elevated temperatures. However, upstream areas with access to water resources are expected to receive near to average second-season production, mainly maize and rice. Income from fruits (melon and watermelon) is expected to be near average. Due to tension along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, the Torkham border closed during the peak export period for fruits and vegetables. This has resulted in some income losses among the private sector and those who heavily rely on this income source.
- In August 2023, national average prices of key staple foods such as wheat grain, wheat flour, and cooking oil were up to 20 percent lower than the three-year average. The prices of wheat grain and imported wheat flour are expected to remain stable. This stability can be attributed to the completed or ongoing harvests within the country, as well as to favorable production in Kazakhstan, which ensures a consistent supply of imported wheat flour. In April, the Kazakh government enacted a ban on illegal wheat imports by road for a period of six months and extended it for an additional six months recently. Despite the ban on illegal imports to Kazakhstan, wheat prices in Afghanistan have not been affected, primarily due to the continued steady movement of legal wheat imports from Kazakhstan into Afghanistan.
- The forecast for the October 2023 to May 2024 precipitation season is for above-average precipitation. Due to financial constraints caused by the drought, farmers will handle land preparation and cultivation themselves during the fall. Winter wheat planting is expected to be promising, as households will want to take advantage of the favorable 2023/24 seasonal forecast.
Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Afghanistan Key Message Update September 2023: Above-average 2023/24 precipitation season is expected to facilitate planting, 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.