Afghanistan: A long and winding road
Decades of complex and protracted conflicts, combined with a changing climate, gender inequalities, rapid urbanization,underemployment and the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic pose considerable challenges in efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 2 on Zero Hunger and improved nutrition.
Over half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line, and food insecurity is on the rise, largely due to conflict and insecurity cutting off whole communities from livelihood opportunities. 14 million people are identified as food insecure, including 550,000 who have been displaced by conflict since the beginning of the year.
Undernutrition is of particular concern in women, children, displaced people, returnees, households headed by women, people with disabilities and the poor. Despite progress in recent years, undernutrition rates are now increasing and 2 million children are malnourished.
Every year, some 250,000 people on average are affected by a wide range of environmental disasters including floods, droughts, avalanches, landslides and earthquakes. The impact of disasters and dependency on water from rain or snowmelt severely limit the productivity of the agricultural sector, which provides a source of income for 44 percent of the population.