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Publication | 2024

Climate change impacts and threats on basic livelihood resources, food security and social stability in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is facing one of the world's most serious humanitarian and environmental crises, with food insecurity, conflict, instability, and climate change. To analyze all these interrelated challenges we studied the impact of climate change on natural resources, food security and social stability in Afghanistan. The potential impacts of climate change on food security through agriculture, water resources, drought, energy, migration and conflict, and social health studied by assessing large number of peer reviewed papers and reports published. The finding shows that Afghanistan's average temperature has risen by 1.8 °C since 1950. Severe floods, droughts, and heatwaves raised in the country, which increased the risks of crop failure, livestock starvation, crop or animal disease, and pests. Based on the climate models, future precipitation will further decrease and temperature will increase, which would exacerbate the human and environmental crises further. Climate factors and natural resource degradation associated with political issues exacerbated food insecurity and social unrests in Afghanistan. Climate-related disaster events contributed to hunger and child malnutrition, and diarrheal disease is a main health risk for children. Afghanistan ranks 109th out of 121 countries in the Global Hunger Index, indicating a severe level of food insecurity. A large number of people lack access to food, both due to conflict and climate change. Migration and social health are also major impacts of climate change on Afghan society. Finding shows that climate change contributed displacement and economic losses in Afghanistan, drought in 2018–2019 caused over 400,000 people to be displaced in the most affected regions, resulting in millions of dollars in financial losses. Climate change, acted as a "threat multiplier" to all economic and social development and stability in Afghanistan. To prevent the devastating impacts of climate changes impacts, government of Afghanistan must take action context-specific solutions such as reduce the risk of social and political instability, attain food security, and avoid additional environmental and agricultural destruction, and must implement adaptation and mitigation measures. Unfortunately, Afghanistan's future is uncertain due to climate change threats.