It’s all about timing: Assessing the effectiveness of drought anticipatory action in Afghanistan

During the second half of 2020, a moderate to strong La Niña phenomenon was registered with predictions it could cause extreme weather conditions in various parts of the world. In Afghanistan, this commonly results in below-average rainfall and snowfall across the country. The timing of this La Niña event coincides with the main wheat season with harvests in May-July 2021, which are critical for food security and livestock production throughout the country. Instead of waiting for the worst, in November 2020 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) acted on the warning signs.

The team implemented anticipatory actions to mitigate the impact on farmers and livestock owners including crop and livestock protection packages, cash-for-work, and animal health support among others. The intervention came at a critical time, where 42 percent of the population is already estimated to be in acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels, and limited wheat harvests could further exacerbate the situation. Drought was officially declared in the country on the 22nd of June 2021. However, FAO managed to act early, a whole 8 months earlier, thereby showing the importance of predicating crises and providing pre-emptive support.    

This Ignite Stage session dives into this case study and, with the Centre for Disaster Protection and Oxford University, explores the impact of the approach. It showcases the preliminary results of a conjoint impact analysis. The session’s aim is to advance understanding of the food insecurity situation in Afghanistan and explore the efficacy of anticipatory action to combat the negative effects of drought; it will also examine the linkages between and the comparative advantages of anticipatory action versus emergency response along with key emerging lessons on addressing the gamut of constraints in programming for anticipatory action in conflict settings. This case study should make an important contribution to a limited existing base of evidence.


Speaker: Catherine Jones

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Centre for Disaster Protection, and Oxford University


26 May 2022
12:15 - 12:30 (Bali UTC+8)


Taman Jepun
BNDCC 1-Ground Floor

Online access


Open to those registered for the conference


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