Generally, a large proportion of incomes in Afghanistan are made up of subsistence farming, a little trading and family remittances from overseas. Remittance is significant and now more than ever, people are heavily dependent on it.
According to Ros, many families have two or three male members working in Turkey, Pakistan or Iran, sending home a bit of money here and there. But what they are sending home is often not enough to cover basic needs As a result, a lot of the humanitarian work now is shifting to cash programming “to support the markets that do exist and to support the failing economy where it is still functioning,” according to Ros.
Afghanistan is also currently experiencing a severe drought that is affecting more than 80% of its population. Because of this, farmers told Ros that their expected yields – even those from irrigated land – are down by upwards of 50%.
“It’s not just about lack of rainfall,” said Ros, “it is also about the fact that the irrigated land is not producing the yields it would have been expected to produce in recent years.” Climate change is really affecting food production and low yield means less food, putting even more lives at risk.