USAID warns of acute food insecurity in Afghanistan’s central, northern and western regions

WASHINGTON — The US Agency for International Development (USAID) reported that Afghanistan’s central highlands, northern, and western regions are experiencing widespread Crisis—IPC 3—levels of acute food insecurity.

This situation in May was attributed to a slow recovery from recurrent droughts, recent floods, and limited access to food and livelihood opportunities.

Citing United Nations data, USAID revealed that 23.7 million people in Afghanistan are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2024, with 17.3 million prioritized for aid. In 2023, 32.1 million people received humanitarian assistance in the country.

The report, however, offers a glimmer of hope, predicting that household food security in much of Afghanistan will likely improve between May and October, coinciding with the start of wheat harvests in June. “The wheat harvest is likely to improve household access to food and income through increased paid agricultural labor opportunities and decreased food prices, which are expected to strengthen purchasing power,” the report stated.

The US government supports the delivery of life-saving emergency food assistance across Afghanistan. In April, USAID, in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), reached 2.5 million people across the country with food aid.

As Afghanistan continues to grapple with these challenges, international assistance remains crucial in mitigating the impact of food insecurity on its vulnerable population.