Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Afghanistan

Map of Afghanistan
Map of Afghanistan

September 30, 2019

Decades of conflict, prolonged population displacement, civil unrest, armed group activity, and recurring natural disasters contribute to humanitarian needs in Afghanistan. Disaster-affected and food-insecure communities require continued life-saving food and nutrition assistance.


  • Severe drought conditions, conflict, and ongoing population movements are driving food insecurity in Afghanistan, where approximately 4.9 million people are in need of emergency food and agricultural livelihoods assistance, according to the UN.
  • Following the 2019 wheat harvest, many households countrywide are experiencing improved access to food and facing Stressed (IPC 2) or Minimal (IPC 1) levels of acute food insecurity, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reports.* However, the November–December onset of the winter lean season may cause Crisis (IPC 3) outcomes in many areas of the country, especially among households with below-average incomes and those recovering from the 2018 drought that affected nearly all areas of the country, according to FEWS NET. As of September 8, natural disasters had affected more than 294,000 people in 2019, the UN notes.
  • Between January and early September, conflict displaced approximately 238,000 people in Afghanistan, according to the UN. In addition to disrupting normal livelihoods activities through displacement, insecurity also affects food security for households remaining in their places of origin by limiting access to labor opportunities and safe areas for livestock and markets. Ongoing violence is also restricting the ability of relief actors to deliver humanitarian assistance.

*The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal—IPC 1—to Famine—IPC 5.



    • In FY 2019, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) supports the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide emergency food assistance—including regionally sourced in-kind food aid and cash transfers for food—to vulnerable, drought-affected people across Afghanistan. FFP also enables WFP to deliver High Energy Biscuits to drought-affected households with children and pregnant and lactating women. Between January and June, WFP assisted more than 3.2 million people across 31 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
    • FFP partners with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to distribute emergency nutrition assistance in Afghanistan. With FFP support, UNICEF furnishes ready-to-use therapeutic foods to treat children suffering from severe acute malnutrition countrywide, in addition to conducting nutrition performance monitoring, supervising malnutrition service delivery, and providing supply chain management training to build the capacity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government partners.
    • In FY 2019, FFP works with several NGOs to provide cash transfers for food and complementary services, including kitchen gardens and agricultural trainings, to food-insecure households across Afghanistan.

    Food for Peace Contributions

    Total Contributions:

      U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
    Fiscal Year 2019 $101.1 million 20,725 MT
    Fiscal Year 2018 $73.9 million 34,666 MT
    Fiscal Year 2017 $68.4 million 36,680 MT

    * Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers.

    Last updated: October 31, 2019

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