Over the last three months, around one-third of the Afghan population required urgent humanitarian action, according to the United Nations, which declares that some 10.23 million people are living in a state of “severe acute food insecurity”.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), which is monitoring a number of key food security indicators in Afghanistan, estimates that the situation is likely to get worse heading into next year, with the numbers of those experiencing severe acute food insecurity set to rise to 11.29 million (with 2.7 million in an Emergency situation, and 8.6 million in a Crisis situation), between November 2019 and March 2020.
A lack of opportunity in the labor market could, says the report, impact the livelihoods of vulnerable groups; as could the uncertain political climate and security situation, with upcoming elections affecting the outlook; food prices, which could rise in the Winter months; and extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods.
The November Alert from the IPC includes several recommendations to alleviate the food insecurity problems faced by the population. Providing humanitarian food assistance, in cash or kind, is one such proposal, as well as helping farmers to obtain quality seeds for the forthcoming season (most farmers do not have the capability to obtain seeds from any source).
Afghanistan has seen record-high levels of civilian casualties in the third quarter of 2019, stemming mainly from the violence between pro- and anti-Government elements. July documented the country’s bloodiest month on record, with the highest number of civilian casualties in a single month since the UN began systematic documentation in the country, in 2009.