Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Afghanistan

Map of Afghanistan
Map of Afghanistan

June 4, 2018


  • More than three decades of war, sustained flows of returnees, civil unrest, insurgent activity and recurring natural disasters have contributed to chronic humanitarian need in Afghanistan. As of early June, nearly 117,000 people are internally displaced due to conflict, more than 326,200 undocumented Afghans have returned from Iran and Pakistan, and approximately 10,000 people have migrated due to drought in 2018, according to the UN.
  • Widespread conflict, poor rain-fed staple production and limited labor opportunities are the main drivers of acute food insecurity in Afghanistan, according to Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). According to the UN World Food Program (WFP), an estimated 9.3 million people are food insecure, including 3.4 million severely food insecure; approximately 41 percent of children under 5 years of age are stunted and 10 percent are acutely malnourished. As of May, approximately two-thirds of the country—20 provinces—are affected by severe rain deficit and experienced limited snowfall during the winter season, according to the UN.
  • Drought undermines food security and livelihood opportunities in Afghanistan, threatening farmers’ and herders’ agricultural production by damaging crops and limiting access to fodder and grazing areas. Small livestock raisers are especially at risk of food insecurity, as their flocks decrease due to disease and death, particularly when drought conditions are most severe following the harvest season in August – September, the UN reports. Many poor families, undocumented returnees and internally displaced people—whose livelihoods have been affected by conflict and drought conditions—are likely to continue facing Crisis (IPC 3) levels of acute food insecurity during the coming months, according to FEWS NET. Additionally, conflict and poor labor opportunities will continue to drive high assistance needs.    

*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 2018, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) contributed $25 million to WFP to provide approximately 547,000 food-insecure individuals with emergency food assistance sourced from local and regional markets, in addition to cash-based transfers for food. With FFP support, WFP is distributing critical humanitarian assistance to those affected by conflict and natural disasters, strengthening communities’ resilience to shocks, supporting seasonally and chronically food-insecure populations, and providing supplementary feeding to treat and prevent malnutrition in children under 5 years of age and pregnant and lactating women.
    • Additionally, FFP partnered with an international non-governmental organization (NGO) to provide cash-based transfers to approximately 3,000 vulnerable and food-insecure households affected by drought and seasonal hunger in central Afghanistan.

    Food for Peace Contributions

    Total Contributions:

      U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
    Fiscal Year 2018 $26.0 million 16,460  MT
    Fiscal Year 2017 $68.4  million 36,680  MT
    Fiscal Year 2016 $44.0  million 15,870  MT

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


    Last updated: June 11, 2018

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