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Afghanistan: Humanitarian Response Plan (2018 - 2021) - Revised Financial Requirements due to Drought (May 2018)


Original 2018-2021 Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan 

The 2018-2021 Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) released in December 2017 sought US$430 million to assist 2.8 million people in 2018 with life-saving and protection assistance across the country. The plan’s strategic objectives, which are intended to span the entire life-cycle of the response, focus on the following:

  • SO1: Save lives in the areas of highest need
  • SO2: Reduce protection violations and increase respect for International Humanitarian Law
  • SO3: People struck by sudden onset crises get the help they need, on time


Scope of Revised 2018-2021 HRP: Drought Related Requirements

Following a winter period which saw a precipitation deficit of 70 percent prevailing across most of the country, making 2017/18 the fifth consecutive year in which the main planting season for wheat (October-February) has been compromised, the Afghanistan Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) has agreed to revise the HRP based on situational analysis which shows that the country is now experiencing a drought. This drought will have a particularly detrimental effect on already chronically food insecure farming households (approximately 2.2 million people), of which 1.4 million will become acutely food insecure and require emergency assistance over the coming months and into the next lean season.

In making this decision, the HCT accept that the planning assumptions upon which the HRP was originally based have now changed (see 2018-2021 HRP, p. 11–12) and that additional activities and requirements stemming from the drought need to be incorporated in order to facilitate a timely response and avert a major humanitarian crisis.

In this regard, while the strategic objectives and overall parameters of the HRP remain unchanged and continue to prioritise saving lives in the areas most affected by conflict and natural disaster, the HRP will be adjusted to reflect an activity portfolio which enables urgently needed food and agriculture, livelihoods, WASH and nutrition support to be provided to affected people — mainly rural farmers or agricultural wage labourers. Cross-cutting approaches to protection; gender, age and disability; accountability; and cash-based programming remain unchanged. 

Further details on the Afghanistan HRP, including agreement on its scope and priorities, response parameters, and approach to the New Way of Working can be found in the original HRP document.

The Revised 2018-2021 HRP: In Figures

The revised Afghanistan 2018-2021 HRP now seeks US$547 million to reach 4.2 million people with emergency humanitarian and protection assistance across the country in 2018. 

This figure represents a 27 percent increase in financial requirements on the original appeal and is directly attributed to the incorporation of drought-related requirements comprising the food security and agriculture, WASH and nutrition sectors as outlined in the May inter-cluster drought contingency plan. Altogether, funding requirements have now increased by $117 million. Although the current adjustment only reflects revised food security, WASH and nutrition requirements, additional funding may be required over the coming months should donor resources not be forthcoming and drought-related displacement and health issues associated with poor nutritional status (such as acute watery diarrhea, measles and other disease outbreaks) materialise. Already this year, 161 measles outbreaks have been reported – a 65 percent increase on those occurring during the same period in 2017 – while 18,200 people in the western region have been verified as having migrated from Herat to Ghor and Badghis due to the drought with additional displacements taking place within these provinces themselves. 

Thus, while education in emergencies, emergency-shelter and non-food items, health and protection have maintained their original response plan and requirements, further changes may occur at the mid-year review point should the situation on the ground require it.

Situation Analysis

The revised Afghanistan HRP includes evidence from satellite imagery and data analyses carried out by iMMAP and FEWSNET, as well as findings from FAO’s Rapid Assessment of the 2018 Winter Dry Spell conducted over the last two weeks of February, and observations from operational agencies and actors in the field. Major data sources include:

  • FAO’s Rapid Assessment of the 2018 Winter Dry Spell in Afghanistan, 2 April 2018 (which shows that farmers have been significantly affected by the lack of water, prompting them to delay planting, reduce field sizes to minimise losses, and/or see the seeds they planted be partially or completely desiccated. The report also highlights the extent to which the lack of ground water is causing water points to dry up and therefore become inaccessible to communities.)
  • iMMAP & FEWSNET Analyses, April 2018 (which shows that below average precipitation and above average temperatures since October 2017 have resulted in significant reductions in (1) snow depths, (2) river flows,  (3) water level in dams, (4) water tables, and (5) soil moistures. These conditions have already negatively and irreversibly impacted the winter 2017 – 2018 agricultural season and are expected to also negatively impact the spring and summer 2018 agricultural season.)
  • Updates from the Early Warning Information Group: Prolonged Dry Spell Conditions, 10 May 2018 (which indicate that areas planted for rainfed wheat is smaller than last year, reflecting dry soil conditions and the use of extended areas for grazing. This has negatively affected both staple food and cash crops – which are expected to be below normal harvest levels – and resulted in a reduction of livestock production and livestock sale prices which have decreased on average between 20-30 percent since October 2017.) 

More details appear in the sector-specific sections of this revision. It is important to note that at present, however, the number of people affected by the drought and in need of humanitarian assistance are preliminary estimates based on existing data. As more information becomes available – following completion of the pre-harvest assessment (currently ongoing) and the emergency food security assessment (EFSA) (planned to launch after Ramadan in early July) – these figures will be updated.



Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
31 May 2018
Document type: 
Strategic Response Plan
Natural Disasters
Resource Mobilisation
Strategic Planning
Coordination hub(s): 
National Level Coordination
Afghanistan: Drought - 2018-2019