While Afghanistan has made measurable progress in human development over the past six years, it remains one of the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world. It ranked 172 in UNDP’s Human Development Report 2011. The Global Adaptation Index ranks it as the most vulnerable country in the world, taking into account the country’s exposure, sensitivity and ability to cope with climate related hazards. Climate change scenarios for Afghanistan suggest temperature increases of up to 4°C by the 2060s (from 1970-1999 averages), and a corresponding decrease in rainfall. The biophysical effects of climate change are expected to be significant; droughts are likely to be the norm by 2030 leading to associated dynamics of desertification and land degradation. Coping with the impacts of climate change is a major challenge for development in Afghanistan given that its negative effects are likely to be most severely felt by the poor and marginalized due to their high dependence on natural resources and limited capacity to cope with the impacts of climate variability and extremes.
Afghanistan has a predominately dry continental climate with wide extremes of temperature. High mountain ranges characterize much of the topography; a quarter of the country’s land sits at more than 2,500m above sea level. While annual precipitation exceeds 1,000mm in the upper mountains of the northwest, it is less than 400 mm over 75 percent of the country and virtually all of the cultivable land. The cultivable area of Afghanistan is estimated to be 7.7 million ha, representing about 12 percent of the country’s area. Approximately 42 percent is intensively or intermittently irrigated. The importance of irrigated agriculture cannot be overstated, since it is the mainstay of food security and income for the majority of the rural population, accounting for more than 70 percent of total crop production. The 2008 State of the Environment report makes it clear that water is the country’s most critical natural resource and key to the health and well-being of the Afghan people.
The main climatic hazards identified in the NAPA are periodic droughts, floods due to untimely and heavy rainfall, flooding due to the thawing of snow and ice, and increasing temperatures (see Table 1). There is a discernible trend that these events are occurring more regularly and are more intense in nature. There have been severe flood or drought events in 8 out of the past 11 years. In fact, the period 1998-2006 marked the longest and most severe drought in Afghanistan’s known climatic history. At the same time, flood risk is also increasing as rainfall patterns have become more erratic. Areas that traditionally receive 250 mm of rain over a period of six months are now receiving that amount of rainfall during the course of only one or two months, with a devastating effect on agriculture and livelihoods. Unless action is taken to strengthen the resilience of Afghan communities and reduce disaster risk, climate change impacts will jeopardize development gains and could push an even greater number of Afghans into poverty.
More information to come...
There are no related resources for this project.
Financing Amount9,000,000.00 (Indicative Grant Amount total as detailed in the PIF, November 2012)
Cofinancing Total30,500,000.00 (Indicative co-financing total as detailed in the PIF, November 2012)
Rural communities in Panjshir, Balkh, Uruzgan and Herat Provinces