10 Facts About Hunger In Afghanistan

Afghanistan faces enormous humanitarian challenges after three decades of war, civil unrest and recurring natural disasters. Just a week ago, an earthquake hit the northern regions of the country killing hundreds and causing extensive damage in mountainous areas. Here are ten facts to help you understand the food and nutrition situation in this country. Please help WFP raise awareness by sharing these facts on Twitter. 

1) Afghanistan is one of the world’s poorest countries, ranking 169 out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index (2012).  

2) More than 1.5 million people in Afghanistan are severely food insecure – an increase of more than 317,000 since last year. Another 7.3 million people – more than one in every four Afghans – are moderately food insecure.

3) Female-headed households are almost 50 percent more likely to be severely food insecure than other households in Afghanistan. Women who head their household are also twice as likely to use emergency coping strategies, such as begging.  

4) About 60 percent of children under five are too small for their age – a condition known as stunting, which is caused by chronic malnutrition.

5) More than a third of children under five years old, as well as 21 percent of women of reproductive age, are underweight. 5.3 million people are protein deficient.

6) Food insecurity is exacerbated by political instability, conflict and recurring disasters. Approximately 400,000 people are seriously affected each year by disasters, such as drought and floods. Most recently, outbreaks of violence have displaced thousands of people in the Kunduz region. 

7) In remote areas often cut off by winter, WFP positions 4,000 metric tons of food in areas that are made inaccessible by snow - enough to support 219,000 people through the winter.

8) In 2015, WFP aims to provide food and nutrition assistance to 3.9 million vulnerable Afghans across the country.  

9) In the second quarter of 2015, 1.5 million people received WFP food assistance through various activities.

10) WFP has been working in Afghanistan since 1963, and is active in all 34 provinces. 

Learn more about hunger and malnutrition from WFP's comprehensive list of Facts About Hunger and Malnutrition.