At least two million people are at risk of severe food insecurity because of a devastating drought in Afghanistan, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report released on Monday.
The report said that the hardest-hit are northern and western Afghanistan, where wheat planting has been either delayed or downsized in some 20 provinces, mainly because of a lack of rain and snowfall in the winter.
“In many cases there was nothing farmers could do but watch the seeds dry out,” said Abdul Majid, the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC) Coordinator of UN FAO.
“The drought has already negatively and irreversibly impacted the winter agricultural season of 2017/2018 and is expected to also negatively impact the 2018 spring and summer agricultural season. The last harvest must be considered completely lost.”
As many as 21,000 people were forced to leave their homes in western Badghis and Ghor provinces because of the drought, the OCHA said.
"Some 1.5 million goats and sheep in northeastern regions are struggling to find food and more than 600 out of 1,000 villages are suffering from a lack of water," the report said.
The lack of water also affects farmers with livestock and pastoralists like the nomadic Kuchi tribe as pasturelands have partially or completely dried up or are overgrazed, leaving flocks with little or no feed.