Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Afghanistan 2011
Duration: July to December 2011
Key milestones: Planting seasons: March, October; Winter: October-November; Spring: March; Harvest: June-September
Beneficiaries: 4.1 million food assistance beneficiaries; 435,436 IDPs; 515,000 refugee returnees; 1,000,000 farmers; vulnerable populations
Funding request per beneficiary: $110
Total funding request: $454 million
The humanitarian community in Afghanistan is working to save lives and alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable. This is a difficult task in a complex environment and all humanitarian actors, including national and international NGOs, the UN, donors and the Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement, are working together at varying degrees to address outstanding humanitarian needs.
Despite progress in certain areas, many Afghans continue suffering as a result of chronic vulnerability compounded by insecurity and violent conflict. Natural disasters, extreme weather and limited infrastructure further limit effective recovery or development, reinforcing dependence upon emergency assistance. Millions of Afghans remain in need of food, clean water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihood assistance, and protection, in particular women and children.
The 2011 Consolidated Appeal notes the root causes of humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, including ongoing conflict and endemic natural disasters, combined with limited humanitarian access, human rights abuses, lack of good governance and widespread corruption, a slow-moving economy and underdevelopment.
Lack of snow during winter and rains during the spring has resulted in dryness impacting different areas of the country – mainly in the Northern, North-eastern, Western and Central Highlands regions. While a drought has not yet been formally declared, the humanitarian community anticipates significant deterioration in population’s access to food due to failure of the rain-fed wheat crop and the deterioration in pastures and rangelands for livestock. It is anticipated that populations who rely on rain-fed agriculture will transfer from being “food-stressed” to being in a “food crisis” during the remainder of 2011 and that this state will remain in effect until the 2012 harvest (June-August). A Ministry of Agriculture Prospectus Report released in mid-June 2011 indicates a cereal deficit of approximately two million metric tons, almost three times the amount in 2010. In some parts of Northern region safe drinking water is being supplemented by water tankering due to lack of access from dryness-related issues. Concerns are further raised about the potential impact on nutrition and health in coming months as well as displacements and protection due to lack of water, food and livelihoods for already vulnerable populations.
At the time of publication of the CAP MYR, the needs and response for an anticipated drought are undetermined: assessment and survey results are expected in July.
This complex combination leaves an estimated 4.1 million people food-insecure and a further one million in need of agricultural assistance. An estimated 68% of the Afghan population has no access to safe water and sanitation facilities, and 42% of school-age children are staying out of school. Humanitarian actors must also ensure emergency assistance and protection for the current 435,436 internally displaced people (IDPs).
In addition to the consequences of the conflict, natural disasters remain a constant threat to Afghanistan’s vulnerable population. Natural hazards are endemic to Afghanistan and include floods, land and rock slides, wind and sand storms, drought, pandemics, earthquakes, and avalanches.
In 2011 for example, floods in Nimroz (Kandahar province) displaced over 1,000 families (7,000 people) while floods in Logar temporarily displaced more than 800 families (4,800 people) and extensively damaged agriculture lands. Aid agencies were unable to effectively respond to needs caused by floods in Ghazni due to unclear administration of the area and a lack of security assurances. The landslides in Marmul in Balk Province of Northern region displaced some 322 families (2,254 people). Late winter rains and limited spring precipitation has also led to drought in at least 13 provinces, intensifying underlying food insecurity in the country. The lack of enough snowfall and spring rain in Afghanistan reduced wheat yields, which is a particular concern in a country beset by 54% chronic malnutrition rates, according to National Nutrition Survey conducted in 2004.
The safety and security of both civilians and humanitarian aid workers is a pre-eminent concern in Afghanistan. With an 18% increase in security incidents from 2010 to 2011, violent conflict continues to have an increasingly harmful impact on the population while simultaneously restricting humanitarian access. According to the UN Human Rights Report released on 9 March 2011, 2,777 civilians were killed and another 4,440 injured. The organization also noted that May 2011 was the deadliest month in the past four years for civilians, with 348 people killed and 593 injured. As a result of the conflict a large number of civilians cannot access basic services or humanitarian aid.
The revised Consolidated Appeal for 2011 seeks US$454 million to carry out life-saving and life-sustaining projects for Afghanistan’s most vulnerable populations. This figure is a 33% reduction from the original requirements of $678 million due to the Humanitarian Country Team’s (HCT’s) determination that the mid-year review should include a review of all existing projects to further improve targeting of humanitarian action. To date, this appeal received more than $287 million or 63% in donor funds requested for 144 projects. Critical sectors such as Emergency Shelter and NFIs (18%) remain under-funded.
While the lines between development and emergency response are sometimes blurred, the 2011 CAP MYR aims to further delineate a boundary between needs that require immediate response to save lives or prevent irrevocable harm and needs as a result of structural underdevelopment. The revised 2011 CAP places greater emphasis on life-saving and livelihood-saving activities and strengthening emergency preparedness and contingency planning.
The HCT identified the following strategic objectives :
A. Immediate: To provide humanitarian assistance and protection to victims of conflict and natural disaster.
B. High: To develop contingency planning on recognized hazards (with reference to HYOGO Framework Priority 5).
C. Medium: To provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to populations impacted by the consequences of chronic vulnerability (or under-development).