Support Communities Affected by Drought in Afghanistan

Afghanistan remains one of the most underfunded, large-scale crises, globally. Millions of people are in need of humanitarian assistance due to disasters, conflicts, and protracted displacement.  Now, the lives of over 2 million people are critically affected by drought in Afghanistan. Below average precipitation since October 2017 has resulted in degraded agriculture and livelihoods in the 20 most affected drought provinces where agriculture is the main source of livelihoods for 15 million people. Currently, more than 65,296 people have already been displaced to the province of Herat in western Afghanistan from neighbouring provinces due to the drought. The Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) has been revised, requesting an additional US$117 million for drought response.  As the drought intensifies, already poor malnutrition rates within the 20 affected provinces are expected to increase. As a result, an increase in the acute malnutrition caseload between July and December 2018 is expected. In addition, the rate of severe acute malnutrition among children under 5 is expected to get worse, resulting in cases that are more complicated to treat and that will require extended care. As of 19 July, it is anticipated that the increase in magnitude and severity of acute malnutrition and disease will overwhelm the capacity of health facilities to provide treatment, and that in the medium to long-term, children will face heightened vulnerability to morbidity and mortality. (WHO, 19 July 2018). Since April 2018 World Vision Afghanistan (WVA) has been responding to the lifesaving needs of the drought affected population in Badghis and Herat Provinces, to date reaching over 70,000 beneficiaries through Food Security, Integrated Health/Nutrition and WASH interventions with US$4 million in cash and in-kind programming value. As a result of quality programming, humanitarian access and positioning with external stakeholders, WVA is acknowledged as a key humanitarian actor in the western region of Afghanistan. In order to respond to increasing humanitarian needs and expand response operations, on 27 July 2018 a Disaster Declaration Group (DDG) convened and recommended the re-categorisation of the emergency as CAT III, National Office Response.  To respond to the acute needs of children and their families, WVA will continue current interventions and expand response operations in Food Security and Livelihoods, Integrated Health/Nutrition, WASH and Children in Emergencies in Badghis, Herat, Ghor, Faryab and Daykundi provinces. To implement the multi-sectoral Drought Emergency Response an additional US$15 million is required to respond to the urgent survival needs of vulnerable children and their families, either displaced by drought or struggling to cope in their place of origin. WV Afghanistan and the MEER Regional Office are asking the WVI partnership to support this crisis response to meet the worsening needs of drought affected communities. We seek your help to proactively raise the profile of humanitarian needs in Afghanistan with internal and external stakeholders, and to prioritise match funding for grants and PNS funding for urgent life-saving support for the affected population.