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Urban Poverty Report: A Study of Poverty, Food Insecurity and Resilience in Afghan Cities


The objectives of the study are three-fold:
Building Knowledge: The research provides evidence-based analysis on the levels of food security, vulnerability and resilience of the Afghan urban population. In particular, it compares migration groups (host community, Internally Displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and economic migrant), across the five major Afghan cities – Kabul, Herat, Jalalabad, Mazar-e- Sharif and Kandahar – and across gender.
Informing Programming: The study provides actionable recommendations for PIN and DRC to develop their urban programming. In particular, both organisations plan on developing urban livelihood projects, including urban agriculture projects, and will use recommendations to inform targeting and implementation for pilot programmes in Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat and Jalalabad.
Advocacy: This research unlocks solutions to the challenges of urban poverty. It provides evidence and recommendations for national and international actors on the strategic and programmatic adjustments needed to better apprehend urban poverty and food in-security.


This research was designed to provide representative data of both the urban population of the five main Afghan cities and the main migration groups living in these cities. Based on a series of quantitative and qualitative tools, the methodology offers opportunities to triangulate information through a household survey, a community survey and qualitative data. Quantitative tools were designed using standard indicators in use in the country to create a robust index of urban resilience.These key variables were combined to create a resilience score based on cut-off points adapted to the Afghan context.

Key findings: 

This urban poverty study shows alarmingly high levels of poverty and food insecurity and low levels of resilience in the main Afghan cities.
The urban poor are the first impacted by the slowdown of the Afghan economy and the political turmoil linked to the presidential elections and are now in distress.

Sample size: 
5,411 households (respondants); 149 communities; 45 focus group discussions; 28 case studies; 42 key informant interviews
Assessment Report: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Date(s): 
01 May 2014 to 27 Nov 2014

Level of Representation

Report completed
Unit(s) of Measurement: 
Collection Method(s): 
Structured Interview
Key Informant Interview
Focus group discussion
Population Type(s): 
Host communities
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
Danish Refugee Council
People in Need
Samuel Hall
Other location: 
Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, Herat, Kandahar
Contingency Planning
Internally Displaced People (IDPs)
Kabul Informal Settlement
Needs Assessment