The European Union humanitarian aid agency and FAO will be partnering to anticipate the expected impacts of La Niña induced drought conditions on livestock production and food security in Afghanistan, and thus to mitigate the risks for some of the most vulnerable and food insecure people to slide into acute hunger and displacement.
“Based on the weather forecast for the upcoming months and the already evident signs of drought conditions in many areas across the country, we need to protect the most vulnerable rural people to meet their most basic needs and safeguard their livelihoods,” said Luigi Pandolfi, who oversees EU humanitarian programmes in Afghanistan. “Otherwise, there is a risk of people sliding into severe hunger and malnutrition, and resorting to desperate measures, such as distress sale of their livestock and migration from rural areas, as was the case during the drought in 2017-2018,” added Pandolfi.
Thanks to the EUR 2 million provided by the European Union humanitarian aid, FAO will assist 88.200 food insecure people in the provinces of Badghis, Badakhshan, Faryab, and Nuristan. This new FAO emergency intervention reinforces similar ongoing efforts of the UN agency across the country to protect rural livelihoods and food and nutrition security.
“While we are already seeing the early effects of drought on herding communities, we will only be able to see the full and cascading impacts of the current drought conditions on agriculture livelihoods and food security during the lean season, from October onward. As usual, there is a seasonal time lag in the manifestation of the drought effects, but that’s precisely why we must act now towards building the critical near-term resilience of vulnerable rural people for them to be in a better position to withstand the negative impacts,” said Rajendra Aryal, FAO Representative in Afghanistan.
This humanitarian intervention will protect the livestock livelihoods of 6 300 vulnerable families (44 100 people) with Cash+ assistance. Each household will receive a livestock protection package, consisting of 200 kg of concentrate animal feed, deworming medicine and veterinary assistance. The distribution of inputs is scheduled to be provided during May and June, as the initial effects of drought are already evident on animals.