Almost 1.5 million people in Afghanistan “food insecure”; forced to sell their land: Report

The percentage of people selling land because of extreme food insecurity has almost doubled in Afghanistan over the past one year, according to a joint study by the United Nations and its partner agencies.

The 2015 Seasonal Food Security Assessment in Afghanistan (SFSA), published by the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC), found that the number of people in Afghanistan facing grinding food insecurity increased from 4.7 percent of the population 12 months ago to 5.9 percent now.

The findings of the report suggest that 1.5 million people in Afghanistan are now considered food insecure, marking a significant increase of more than 317,000 people.

In addition to that, almost 7.3 million people – more than one in every four Afghans – have been put in the category of “moderately food insecure”.

The findings of the report suggest that 1.5 million people in Afghanistan are now considered food insecure, marking a significant increase of more than 317,000 people

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the biggest concern is the increase in the number of “severely food insecure people”, which means that more people are now forced to sell their land and take children out of school and depend on relatives for support.

“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.”

Tomio Shichiri, the FAO representative in Afghanistan, said that although the produce of wheat is expected to be slightly higher this year, a large number of poor people will not be able to buy food from the market.

“It is a question of access to food rather than its production,” he said. “Special attention needs to be given to female-headed households and displaced people to improve their access to, and improvements of, agriculture-based livelihoods."

According to the report, the female-led households are almost 50 percent more likely to be severely food insecure than other households. Women who head their households are also more likely to resort to desperate measures like begging.

In addition, according to the report, internally displaced people (IDPs), particularly those living in makeshift tents, also suffer from poor diets.

The report says the eastern provinces of Khost and Paktika, which host more than 200,000 displaced people, need immediate support to prevent food insecurity from getting worse 

The report says the eastern provinces of Khost and Paktika, which host more than 200,000 displaced people, need immediate support to prevent food insecurity from getting worse.

“It is the last resort when farmers start selling productive assets such as livestock, machinery or land,” said Abdul Majid, FSAC Coordinator. “This is not only a loss for farmers but for the entire community, as skills and means for agricultural production will be lost, saturating the urban labour market.”

Assadullah Zamir, the minister of agriculture, irrigation and livestock (MAIL), requested the donor community to “continue assisting the most vulnerable Afghans before it becomes too late”.

Do you have information you wish to share with Zariza.com? You can email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or view to share, or if you have a special project send us your photos or videos at Projects desk.


comments powered by Disqus

Afghan Zariza ( Millennium )

The Zariza is designed to inform, educate, and engage young generation inside Afghanistan. The Zariza’s goal is to empower Afghans to create better future through knowledge and actionable, positive and uplifting reporting and news. The Afghan Zariza was founded based on those needs and goals, and will fill this gap....

The Magazine ISSUE ( Feb 2015 )