Improving food security and nutrition in Afghanistan with the support of FAO and Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark through the Royal Danish Embassy in Kabul and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have joined forces to provide emergency assistance to more than 142,000 drought-affected vulnerable livestock herders and pastoralists and their families in six of the worst drought-affected provinces of Afghanistan.
Under this project, vulnerable livestock herders in areas hardest hit by drought will receive high-quality animal feed as well as fodder crop seed, so they can protect and sustain their animals during the harsh winter. To keep animals free from parasites, the herders will also receive deworming medicines to control internal parasites.
These interventions will achieve multiple goals, including improving livestock production, boosting food security, and strengthening people’s livelihoods.
As part of this assistance, the herders will also receive training on animal husbandry and livestock management, including feeding regimens, sustainable grazing management, drought mitigation techniques, fodder conservation, de-worming and other treatments for common animal health problems.
The project will be implemented by FAO in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL). The project is supported by the Government of theKingdom of Denmark, which has provided funding of USD 3million for its implementation.
Danish Ambassador to Afghanistan, H.E. Nicolaj Peterson, said: I am very pleased to announce Danish support of USD 3 million to improving food security and nutrition in Afghanistan. Denmark together with other donors are joining efforts to respond to the emergency needs of population affected by drought in Afghanistan. This support will contribute to meeting the humanitarian needs of vulnerable livestock herders and pastoralists and their families.
“This response needs to begin immediately, because so many animals are suffering from poor nutrition and are in immediate need of feed to survive,” said Rajendra Aryal, FAO Representative in Afghanistan. ”Our first priority is to identify the most vulnerable livestock-reliant herders who are in dire need of assistance, to take action to protect their animals.”
A recent Emergency Food Security Assessment has suggested that 48 percent of pastoralists have experienced high rates of livestock mortality and reduced livestock productivity as a consequence of drought. Herders reported major and extensive damage to pastureland, resulting in reduced, poor or no fodder for livestock. This has led to a deterioration in the health and productivity of the animals, with deaths and increased distress sales of core breeding stocks across the country.