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Seasonal Food Security Assessment Afghanistan

Know the level of food insecurity in the provinces as well as at national level.Identify vulnerable groups, at provincial and at national level.Understand the livelihoods and corresponding vulnerability.Learn about shocks causing food insecurity.Know about key factors affecting food availability, access and food utilization (intra-households).
Key findings: 
The Seasonal Food Security Assessment (SFSA) 2014 is the third consecutive survey since 2012. The SFSAs aimed at identifying the causes and intensity of food insecurity by various geographical locations, namely provinces. Occurrence of natural disasters is a regular phenomenon in Afghanistan and once coupled with security issues makes a significant damage to livelihoods. During the last 4 years, many provinces have been hit by natural disasters like flood, drought, heavy snow, landslides and price hike, while others by high security incidents and risks. These multidimensional shocks adversely affected the livelihoods and made many people highly food insecure and vulnerable to various shocks. The SFSA 2014 was carried out in all 34 provinces, covering 8,500 households, 850 communities and 177 traders throughout the country. The assessment was conducted during May-July 2014. Twenty-four international and national organizations (8 national NGOs and 12 international NGOs) took part in the survey. Total 93.3 percent of the households were interviewed before the harvest took place, while, 6.1 percent interviewed during harvest time. According to the assessment, the overall family size is 10.2 in surveyed households, where in rural it is 10.7 while 8.7 in urban, a significant difference between urban-rural. The female-headed households are 4.4 percent in urban and 3.7 percent in rural. Majority of the head of households are in the age group of 45-64 years both in rural as well as urban. On average, 7.9 percent of the household heads are disabled. Among these, 3.2 percent are not able to work while 4.7 percent are able to do some work. The disability ratio is higher in rural as 8.4 percent compared to urban as 6.3 percent. The percentage of households living in temporary shelter/tent is higher in rural (5.5 percent) compared to urban (2.5 percent). A significant number of households, 2.9 percent are IDPs, 5.0 percent are returnees and 0.6 percent are Kuchis. The IDPs percentage is higher in urban areas (3.6 percent) as compared to rural (2.7 percent). More than 43 percent of the households have suffered one or more shocks during the past 3 months. The shocks reported by higher percentage of households are severe sickness/death of breadwinner (20 percent), natural disasters (18.2 percent) and very high insecurity (16.5 percent). In fact, the mentioned three types of disasters affected more than 50 percent of the population country-wide. Households spent 61.6 percent on food and 38.4 percent on non-food items during the month before the assessment. The higher percentage of spending on food was reported in Nooristan (79 percent), Badghis (78.4 percent), Nimroz (76.5 percent), Panjsher (68.4 percent) and Baghlan (67 percent). A drastic fluctuation due to seasonality was observed in livelihoods related to agriculture as it was the main livelihood of 42.9 percent of households in spring, which reduced to 37.6 percent in summer, then to 20.8 percent in fall and declined to only 8.1 percent in winter. The first income source, on average, contributed 47.8 percent of the total income, the second for 30 percent and third for 22 percent. On average, households kept cereal stock for 5.7 months during last year. The cereal stocks at household level remained almost the same as in 2012 with a slight improvement. The cereal stocks declined in certain provinces during 2013 compared to 2012. The highest decline was witnessed in Ghor by 26.2 percent, followed by Badakhshan (15.8 percent), Laghman (12.5 percent) and Nimroz (9.1 percent) Cereals were mostly purchased from markets and reported by 64.3 percent households, while 34.5 percent consumed their own production. Food aid contributed to 0.4 percent of the households. Livestock products (dairy) was from own source for majority of the households (53.4 percent). Wheat grain is mostly produced locally, however, 43 percent is imported from abroad or elsewhere. Wheat flour import is much higher in all major markets of the country. The high quality wheat flour import is around 82 percent, while low quality is 66 percent. On average, 20.5 percent of the surveyed households are food insecure, 46.3 percent are at borderline and 33.3 percent are food secure. The percentage of food insecure in higher in urban areas as 23.6 percent compared to 19.5 percent in rural. However, the borderline households percentage is higher in rural (47.3 percent) compared to urban (43 percent). The highest share of food insecure households is found in Nooristan (58 percent), followed by Nimroz (56.5 percent), Badakhshan (56.4 percent). Among various vulnerable groups, the highly food insecure are the head of households who separated/divorced, disabled, households living in public building and open space, returnees and IDPs, households having no livestock, households with no or small irrigated land, households with no income and those farmers who did not grow crops this season.
Assessment Report: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Date(s): 
08 May 2014 to 31 Jul 2014
Report completed
Population Type(s): 
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
European Union
Government of Afghanistan - Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock