AFGHANISTAN / FOOD INSECURITY

23-Nov-2020 00:03:49
Afghanistan is facing spiraling levels of food insecurity and malnutrition due to the triple threat of conflict, COVID-19 and the effects of climate change. WFP
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STORY: AFGHANISTAN / FOOD INSECURITY
TRT: 3:49
SOURCE: WFP
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT WFP ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / DARI / PASHTO / NATS

DATELINE: 18 SEPTEMBER, 12 OCTOBER, 16-18, 22 NOVEMBER 2020 HELMAND, KABUL, KANDAHAR, PARWAN, AFGHANISTAN
SHOTLIST
12 OCTOBER 2020, HELMAND, AFGHANISTAN

1.Various shots, Afghan police in armuUred vehicles near Lashkargah where fighting has displaced an estimated 35,000 people.

18 SEPTEMBER 2020, HELMAND, AFGHANISTAN

2.Wide shot, Afghan police

16 NOVEMBER 2020, HELMAND, AFGHANISTAN

3.Various shots, Internally Displaced People (IDPs) fleeing recent fighting with all their belongings. These IDPs came from Nadali, Chanjir and Nahersaraj districts.
4. Various shots, about 300 families who are living in an abandoned vegetable market.

18 NOVEMBER 2020, PARWAN, AFGHANISTAN

5.Various shots, Anisa Pirzad having her daughter tested for malnutrition including weight and MUACS testing at provincial hospital in Charikar, Parwan where WFP implements a supplementary feeding programme for children suffering from malnutrition.
6.SOUNDBITE (Dari) Anisa Pirzad:
“We don’t have much money. My husband is selling vegetables but he doesn’t earn enough money for our basic needs. My daughter lost a lot of weight and that is why we came here to get nutritious food so she can be healthy again.”
7.Various shots, Anisa Pirzad collects fortified food provided by WFP food for her daughter.

17 NOVEMBER 2020, KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN

8.Various shots, WFP distribution. Offloading and setting up distribution site. Shot of Abdul Ghani with food rations. Abdul Ghani was displaced with 7 family members from his village in Zheray District, Kandahar and is now living on the outskirts of Kandahar City in a tent.
9.SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Abdul Ghani, Internally Displaced Person:
“We have no home anymore. Fighting broke out in our village, and now we are receiving food assistance.”
10. Various shots, people loading received food rations onto trucks and cars to take home.

22 NOVEMBER 2020, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

11. SOUNDBITE (English) Mary Ellen McGroarty, WFP Country Director:
“We’re seeing humanitarian needs in Afghanistan spiraling as the most vulnerable deal with the triple threat of continuing conflict a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and also climate. We’re facing into the winter, the harshest part of the year in Afghanistan. Over 42 per cent of the population, that’s over 16 million, in fact close to 17 million people don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”

17 NOVEMBER 2020, KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN

12. Various shots, Kandahar city. After recent large-scale attacks in surrounding area of Kandahar, people fled into the Kandahar City where they receive food from by WFP.
13. Various shots, Gulsima and one of her children with WFP food.
14. SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Gulsema:
When we fled the fighting, we had nothing to wear or eat, but with the assistance we receive we manage to get by. I had a cow but I don’t know what happened to it. Now I am praying for my children to be healthy and hopefully we can find enough food to survive.”
15. Wide shot, Gulsima and her family having tea in the courtyard.
STORYLINE
Afghanistan is facing spiraling levels of food insecurity and malnutrition due to the triple threat of conflict, COVID-19 and the effects of climate change.

An estimated 16.9 million people or more than two fifths (42 per cent) of the total population are facing acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 + 4). This is 4.5 million more than before the pandemic hit the country.

In the coming winter months, 5.5 million people are facing emergency level of food insecurity (IPC Phase 4) and need urgent assistance.

Some 2.9 million children and pregnant and breastfeeding women are malnourished, including 1.3 million girls and boys under five that suffer from moderate acute malnutrition.

Conflict and insecurity are the main drivers of hunger, and Afghanistan is experiencing near unprecedented high levels of fighting and and armed clashes: This year already, more than 270,000 people have been driven from their homes.

Climate Change and variability are further important drivers of hunger: This year already, flash floods and heavy snowfall have displaced 110,000 people.

The official Government figure of 42,795 people infected with COVID-19 is expected to be far lower than in reality as less than one percent of the population has been tested. In August, the health minister said that 10 million people are expected to have been infected.

The socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan is even more devastating than the disease itself with far-reaching impact on the food security of communities that will last far into the coming year.

Increased food prices, widespread unemployment and loss of remittances from family members working abroad have pushed urban and rural communities across the country to the brink of survival.

The shocks caused by the pandemic are particularly hard on the nearly 15 million Afghans who rely on informal work for a living, such as small-scale retail or daily labor in construction and agriculture.

These families have minimal coping ability and often are forced to resort to desperate measures, like eating fewer or smaller meals, sending children to work or selling of girls into early marriage.

Most vulnerable families have indebted themselves to catastrophic levels and seasonally food insecure communities are now facing the harshest winter months, not knowing where their next meal will come from.

The country is facing a rapid increase in poverty rates, from 55 percent in 2017 to up to 72 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank.

The humanitarian situation across all sectors could further deteriorate in the coming months, driven by political uncertainty and extreme levels of violence.

Political uncertainty about progress and outcome of the ongoing Afghan Peace Negotiations in Qatar between the Afghan Government and the Taliban influence conflict levels and intensity of fighting and violence in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Peace Negotiations represent a historic moment for a first step towards ending the intergenerational cycle of conflict and hunger. Peace is necessary to reduce hunger and malnutrition, to create space for sustainable development and to allow the Afghan people to fulfil their long-term aspirations.

Faced with spiraling levels of food insecurity, WFP is planning to increase the number of people to assist in 2021 with funding needs that could surpass US$460 million.

Faced with the spiraling levels of food security, WFP plans to assist 13 million girls, boys, women and men in 2021. Funding needs to do so likely will surpass US$460 million, up from US$352 million in 2020. This is US$110 more than WFP’s funding needs in 2020.

Early funding is critical to ensure that WFP is able to procure sufficient amounts of vegetable oil and specialized nutritous foods, as lead times for internationally procured food commodities are only now normalizing, after the impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains.

From January to September 2020, WFP reached 6.7 million food insecure girls, boys, women and men across the country with food assistance. This included 4.5 million seasonally food insecure people, more than 290,000 people affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 more than 200,00 returnees and refugees.

WFP’s nutrition programme helped to treat or prevent more than 1 million girls and boys under 5 and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Until the end of the year, WFP Afghanistan plans to reach 10.2 million people, including 3 million affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.

Distributions and activities across the country were adjusted to ensure the safety of the people WFP serves, our partners and WFP’s staff and to help quell the spread of the coronavirus.
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