Key data for Afghanistan

NCI28th HRCI45th HANCI42nd
HANCI compares 45 countries for their performance on 22 indicators of political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition. All the countries compared in the index have high rates of hunger and undernutrition. The comparative approach of the index means that country scores are calculated in relation to the political commitment of the other countries in the index.
Existing rates of: Stunting: 40.9% Wasting: 9.5% Proportion of population underweight: 9.5% Source: Government of Afghanistan (National Nutrition Survey, 2013)

Strong Performance

  • The National Nutrition Policy/Strategy identifies time bound nutrition targets and a multisectoral and multistakeholder policy coordination mechanism has been set up.
  • Policymakers in Afghanistan benefit from regular nutrition surveys that are statistically representative at national level. The last survey was published in 2015.
  • The Government has fully enshrined the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into domestic law.
  • The Government of Afghanistan promotes complementary feeding practices and has achieved two high doses of vitamin A supplementation for 98% of children in 2015.

Areas for improvement

  • In Afghanistan, the law does not give women economic rights equal to men. Men and women have equal legal access to agricultural land, but this is not effectively enforced and discriminatory practices against women continue, increasing their vulnerability to hunger and undernutrition.
  • Relative to other HANCI countries, Afghanistan’s medium/long term national development policy (Afghanistan national peace and development framework (ANPDF)) places weak importance to nutrition.
  • Afghanistan does not have a separate budget line for nutrition; this prevents transparency and accountability for spending.
  • Weak access to an improved source of drinking water (66.4% in 2015) and an improved sanitation facility (26.2% in 2015) prevents positive outcomes for hunger and nutrition in Afghanistan.
  • In Afghanistan only 58.6% of women aged 15-49 were visited at least once during pregnancy by skilled health personnel in 2015.
  • In Afghanistan, constitutional protection of the right to food and the right to social security is weak.
  • Social safety nets in Afghanistan are basic and only cover few risks for a limited number of beneficiaries.
  • Civil registration rates are weak (37.4% in 2010-2011) and potentially hold back children’s access to critical public services such as health and education.

Hunger Reduction Commitment Index (HRCI)

Public Spending Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Public spending on agriculture as share of total public spending
Public spending on health as share of total public spending
Policies Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Access to land (security of tenure)
Moderate2016Joint 28th
Access to agricultural research and extension services
Civil registration system — coverage of live births
Functioning of social protection systems
Weak2016Joint 41st
Laws Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Level of constitutional protection of the right to food
Weak2016Joint 30th
Equality of women’s access to agricultural land
In Law, not in Practice2014Joint 4th
Equality of women’s economic rights
Not in Law2014Joint 30th
Constitutional right to social security
No2017Joint 34th

Nutrition Commitment Index (NCI)

Public Spending Score Year NCI rank of 45
Separate budget for nutrition
No2017Joint 35th
Policies Score Year NCI rank of 45
Vitamin A supplementation coverage for children
98%2015Joint 6th
Government promotes complementary feeding
Yes2012Joint 1st
Population with access to an improved water source
Population with access to improved sanitation
Health care visits for pregnant women
Nutrition features in national development policy
National Nutrition Policy/Strategy
Yes2017Joint 1st
Multisector and multistakeholder policy coordination
Yes2017Joint 1st
Time bound nutrition targets
Yes2017Joint 1st
National nutrition survey in last 3 years
Yes2015Joint 1st
Laws Score Year NCI rank of 45
Enshrine ICBMS in domestic law
Fully Enshrined2016Joint 1st