UN and partners report ‘extremely alarming’ food insecurity figures in Afghanistan.
The number of people in Afghanistan resorting to selling land or turning to friends or family for help because of food insecurity has doubled in the last year, according to a joint report released today by the United Nations and partner agencies.
The 2015 Seasonal Food Security Assessment in Afghanistan (SFSA), published by the country’s Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC), found that at the peak of the lean season the number of Afghans facing severe food insecurity increased from 4.7 per cent of the population 12 months ago to 5.9 per cent today.
This means more than 1.5 million people are now considered severely food insecure, an increase of more than 317,000. Another 7.3 million people — more than one in every four Afghans — are classed as moderately food insecure.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) indicated that the greatest concern in the assessment is the finding that the proportion of severely food insecure people who have already exhausted their capacity to cope with these emergencies has increased, meaning many more are now forced to sell land, take children out of school to work, or depend on relatives for support.
The SFSA report shows that the number of people engaged in these ‘last ditch’ actions has doubled over the past year to more than 20 per cent of food insecure people across the country. This will leave even more Afghan people significantly vulnerable to extreme poverty.
"When people resort to these measures, they have no resilience against future shocks," said Claude Jibidar, Country Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in Afghanistan. "These figures are extremely alarming, especially in a country where more than one third of all people are already food insecure."
Adapted from the UN website