June 9, 2018
In mid-April 2018, the Afghan government declared the country was suffering from severe drought, dealing a major blow to the rural agrarian economy and animal husbandry.
On May 30, President Ghani traveled to Balkh province to assess the situation and speak to those affected.
Widespread and urgent livestock protection and grain needs are being addressed across the country in the short term. Immediate relief activities are underway, with plans being developed for subsequent medium-term recovery and long-term reconstruction phases.
The short term response has included animal feed distributions, based on the needs of different areas affected by the drought. A total of 5,240 metric tons have been allocated to Jawzjan, Faryab and Balkh, and 1,470 metric tons have been allocated to Herat, Ghor and Badghis provinces. Further allocations are on-going across all provinces. The government also allocated 78,000 metric tons of wheat to those affected by the drought from the national grain reserve.
The Ministry of Finance has re-allocated 822 million Afghanis (about 11.5 million USD) to purchase 19,950 metric tons of livestock feed and fodder. The government has requested additional support from the international community in addressing the crisis. Further funds will be re-allocated to relief, recovery and reconstruction phases during the Mid Year Budget review.
A technical committee has been set up and is meeting regularly to develop medium and long term detailed response plans, which will be discussed in detail as part of the upcoming JCMB and Geneva Ministerial conferences.
The committee includes the Ministry of Rural rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority, the Central Statistics Office, Independent Directorate for Local Governance, Afghan Red Crescent Society, UNOCHA and other UN bodies, and other organizations.