WFP/Eoin Casey

The Situation

After decades of war, civil unrest and recurring natural disasters, Afghanistan has significant recovery needs. Despite recent progress, millions of Afghans still live in severe poverty with a crumbling infrastructure and a landscape that is suffering from environmental damage.

About 33 percent of the total population—some 9.3 million people—are food-insecure. Insurgent activity and military operations have impacted food security in some regions, as well as reconstruction efforts and humanitarian interventions.

The levels of food insecurity and undernutrition are so high that Afghanistan is one of the 10 countries in the world with the highest burden of undernourished children.

In addition, years of environmental degradation in the country, combined with its natural landscape, make Afghanistan highly vulnerable to intense and recurring natural hazards like flooding, earthquakes, avalanches, landslides and droughts.

An estimated 235,000 people affected by natural disasters and nearly 750,000 conflict-affected people will require humanitarian food assistance in 2016.

World Food Programme's Work

WFP has been working in Afghanistan since 1963 and remains active in all 34 provinces. WFP has shifted its focus in recent years from emergency assistance to rehabilitation and recovery.

WFP assisted more than 3.6 million people in 2015, primarily in remote, food-insecure rural areas. WFP’s food assistance focuses on poor and vulnerable families, schoolchildren, illiterate people, returning refugees, internally displaced people and disabled people — with an emphasis on vulnerable women and girls.

  • School meals and take-home rations: In 2015, WFP gave more than 260,000 students a take-home ration of vegetable oil as an incentive for their families to send them to school.
  • Food for Training: In 2015, WFP provided more than 10,000 people — mostly women — with food rations and electronic vouchers while they attended classes in literacy, handicraft production, carpentry, plumbing, reproductive health and childcare.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction: In 2015, more than 475,000 people received WFP food assistance through asset creation activities and infrastructure rehabilitation for roads, canals, flood protection walls and terraces.
  • Nutrition: In 2015, WFP reached almost 184,000 acutely malnourished pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers and more than 144,000 children under five with moderate acute malnutrition.
  • Purchase for Progress: WFP works with local farmers to boost soybean production and with the Ministry of Health to establish food quality and safety standards, as well as support national flour fortification programs. WFP has also worked with the government to construct a strategic grain reserve to hold 200,000 tons of emergency food supplies that can assist some 2 million people for up to six months.

Articles About Afghanistan

WFP/Bilal Stanikzai

Rebuilding Infrastructure and Livelihoods in Rural Afghanistan

In the face of immense challenges, some rural communities in Afghanistan are building their own resilience to natural disasters. Supporting other communities to do the same will transform the lives…

World food programme

WFP/Farid Ahmad

Radio Days in Afghanistan

Getting accurate and reliable market information has always been challenging for farmers living in Afghanistan's remote rural areas. But a community-based radio is now playing a role in filling the…

Djaounsede Pardon Madjiangar

WFP/Rose Ogola

Achieving A Bump In Crop Production And Staying There

Last week, world leaders descended on Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum’s annual conference to discuss the most pressing economic and trade challenges of the day. During the convening,…

Katherine Frank

3 Refugee Crises You Might Not Know About

Driven by ongoing civil conflict and gang violence, refugee crises from Asia to Central America are increasingly drawing the world’s attention beyond ongoing conflict hotspots in the Middle East. With…

Ash Kosiewicz

WFP USA/D. Johnson for HUMAN

Three Safety Net Programs That Work

In times of crisis—when drought, disease or disaster occurs—vulnerable people in poor countries often have nowhere to turn for help. When this happens, everything can fall apart. Households may be…

Katherine Frank

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Afghanistan and Pakistan

Updated: 10/28/15 5:27 p.m. EST A powerful earthquake hit northeastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing more than 380 people with the death toll expected to rise. The quake registered a magnitude of 7.5 and was…

Katherine Frank

Q&A: A Day In The Life Of A Tally Assistant

Asia Bahar works as a Tally Assistant for WFP's office in Aghanistan. Below, she explains what her job involves and why logistics expertise is so crucial to WFP's mission.

World food program usa

WFP/Wahidullah Amani

Treating The Undernourished In Afghanistan

To the relief of her mother and doctors, Zuhal is putting on weight. But just three months ago, the 18-month-old girl from eastern Laghman Province in Afghanistan weighed only 11…

Wahidullah Amani

In Photos: Reaching Mudslide Survivors in Afghanistan

Together with its humanitarian partners on the ground, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has been working to reach thousands of displaced people in the Afghanistan's Badakhshan Province after a massive…

World food program usa