Food security remains a critical issue throughout Afghanistan. Food aid by international agencies active in Afghanistan is insufficient to feed all of those in need. The government provides food and shelter assistance mostly in emergencies such as earthquakes and floods. The government’s winterization plan provides some food assistance during the winter season in some of the provinces but the food support is very limited. Recent assessments point to a dire—and deteriorating—food security situation in the country, particularly in the pre-harvest winter season. The most recent estimates from the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster for April-June 2016 show that food insecurity is on the rise, with almost 6% of Afghans, around 1.6 million people, being severely food insecure and another 34% being moderately food insecure. Food insecurity is expected to continue to rise due to unabated forced migration and its impacts on the displaced and host communities, compounded by the continuing economic downturn and loss of employment. While a severe problem in itself, food insecurity also results in a host of secondary problems such as forced sale of land and other assets, early marriages, child labor, and petty crime.
As with most systemic and chronic issues food security needs to be monitored closely and in conjunction with external factors such as climate change and displacement. The mandate of the Food Security Sub-committee is to facilitate evidence-based constructive advocacy by civil society organizations to inform government policy-making process on food security, and ensure that citizens’ needs are reflected in policy and program development at all levels.