36 countries requiring external assistance for food and Afghanistan is among them. These countries are expected to lack the resources to deal with reported critical problems of food insecurity. Food crises are nearly always due to a combination of factors, but for the purpose of response planning, it is important to establish whether the nature of food crises is predominantly related to lack of food availability, limited access to food, or severe but localized problems. Accordingly, the list of countries requiring external assistance is organized into three broad, not mutually exclusive, categories:
- Countries facing an exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies as a result of crop failure, natural disasters, interruption of imports, disruption of distribution, excessive post-harvest losses, or other supply bottlenecks.
- Countries with widespread lack of access, where a majority of the population is considered to be unable to procure food from local markets, due to very low incomes, exceptionally high food prices, or the inability to circulate within the country.
- Countries with severe localized food insecurity due to the influx of refugees, a concentration of internally displaced persons, or areas with combinations of crop failure and deep poverty.
- Unfavourable Prospects for Current Crops are countries where prospects point to a shortfall in production of current crops as a result of a reduction of the area planted and/or yields due to adverse weather conditions, plant pests, diseases and other calamities.