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Vulnerability to Shocks

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Vulnerability to Shocks

  1. 1. CHAPTER THREE 3. SHOCKS/VULNERABILITY TO LIVELIHOODS/FOOD INSECURITY
  2. 2. 3.1 Concept of Food Insecurity Other Related Terms Definition • Loosely defined, “food insecurity” describes a lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for individuals within a household: limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. • FAO defines food insecurity as a situation where some people do not have access to sufficient quantities of safe and nutritious food and hence do not consume the food that they need to grow normally and conduct an active and healthy life.
  3. 3. • Food insecurity may be due to: - lack of food: no availability - lack of resources: no access - improper use: no proper utilization - Changes in time: no stability • Food insecurity can be indicated by hunger, malnutrition, or poverty. • It is the recurrent and involuntary lack of access to food. • Hunger is usually understood as an uncomfortable or painful sensation caused by insufficient food energy consumption.
  4. 4. • Scientifically, hunger is referred to as food deprivation. Simply put, all hungry people are food insecure, but not all food insecure people are hungry, as there are other causes of food insecurity, including those due to poor intake of micro- nutrients. • Undernourishment exists when caloric intake is below the minimum dietary energy requirement (MDER) which is 2200 Kilo Calories per day. • The MDER is the amount of energy needed for light activity and to maintain a minimum acceptable weight for attained height. • It varies by country and from year to year depending on the gender and age structure of the population.
  5. 5. • Malnutrition results from deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in the consumption of macro- and/or micro nutrients. • Malnutrition may be an outcome of food insecurity, or it may relate to non-food factors, such as inadequate care practices for children, insufficient health services; and an unhealthy environment. • A current and widely used definition of poverty is: “Poverty encompasses different dimensions of deprivation that relate to human capabilities including consumption and food security, health, education, rights, voice, security, dignity and decent work.”
  6. 6. 3.2 Forms/Types of Food Insecurity • Food security analysts have defined two general types of food insecurity: 3.2.1 Chronic Food Insecurity • Chronic food insecurity is a type of food insecurity in which individuals or groups are in a continuous diet inadequacy caused by the inability to acquire food. • In other words, an individual or group of people are said to be chronically food insecure if they do not have access to food on a day to day basis, regardless of the season or time of the year. • It is a situation, where countries, regions or households have insufficient food to meet their needs on a year to year basis. • It affects households that persistently lack the ability either to buy adequate food or to acquire it.
  7. 7. • Chronic food insecurity is almost always closely associated with poverty, and responses to the problem will usually require an injection of external resources. • When a whole country appears to be food insecure, this can be seen as a reflection of the country’s economic assets relative to its population, and the distribution of those assets amongst the population or the overall governance of the economy. • It is unduly pessimistic to assume that a poor asset base dooms a country to food insecurity. • Japan, one of the world’s most successful economies has a poor natural resource base, but has developed largely on the basis of its skilled labour force.
  8. 8. • The problem is more likely to stem from poor policy, both in the food sector and more generally, sometimes compounded by civil war. • In these cases, a successful attack on chronic food insecurity may require a change in both political priorities and overall economic policy.
  9. 9. 3.2.3 Transitory Food Insecurity • Transitory food insecurity is a temporary decline in a household’s access to adequate food. • It is caused by a short-term fluctuation in production or prices of food. • Sometimes, it may lead to chronic food insecurity depending on how severe it is and how frequently it occurs. • In most cases, it takes a form of famine and requires an urgent and coordinated effort to withstand the shock. • Transitory food insecurity can be further divided into temporary and cyclical or seasonal food insecurity.
  10. 10. • Temporary food insecurity occurs when sudden and unpredictable shocks, such as drought, flooding, pest attack, asset loss, war, theft, civil conflict and HIV/AIDS, affect household’s entitlements. For urban households, sudden unemployment or illness of a wage earner may also be a cause of temporary food insecurity. • Seasonal food insecurity occurs when there is a regular pattern of inadequate access to food. • It is the outcome of regular pattern usually in weather related phenomena. • The most obvious is the crop production cycle, which affects levels of output, market prices for the output and agricultural employment opportunities.
  11. 11. • Often in agricultural households, this may be compounded by problems of indebtedness. • It is common for agricultural households to build up debts during the growing season which have to be repaid immediately after harvest, when output prices are at their lowest.
  12. 12. 3.3 Vulnerability to Livelihoods and Food Insecurity Vulnerability • Vulnerability to food insecurity refers to the full range of factors that place people at risk of becoming food-insecure. • FAO defines vulnerability as the presence of factors that place people at risk of becoming food insecure or malnourished including those factors that affect their ability to cope. • While WFP retains the following definition: “The vulnerability to food insecurity is made of all the factors that constitute a risk for people to become food insecure including factors that affect their capacity to face the difficulty they meet.
  13. 13. • In other words vulnerability to food insecurity relates to situations where there is a risk – in certain circumstances or following some events or shocks (drought, disease, civil disturbance, etc.) – that future food intake will be inadequate” but also the following definition more simple: “Conditions that increase a household’s susceptibility to the effects of hazards. • It is a function of a household’s exposure to a hazard and its coping capacity to mitigate the effect of that hazard”.
  14. 14. • The dynamic nature of food security is implicit when we talk about people who are vulnerable to experiencing food insecurity in the future. • Vulnerability is defined in terms of the following three critical dimensions: 1. Vulnerability to an outcome; 2. from a variety of risk factors; 3. because of an inability to manage those risks. • The degree of vulnerability of individuals, households or groups of people is determined by their exposure to the risk factors and their ability to cope with or withstand stressful situations.
  15. 15. • Food security as well as poverty is used to describe people’s welfare at the present time. • Vulnerability complements this static picture with a dynamic, “forward looking” perspective that is used to predict how the welfare of individuals and households may change in the future as a consequence of not being able to face adverse events that may happen to them. • Vulnerability can be expanded to capture a more complex relationship between risks, ability to cope (actions taken before, during and after shocks) that affect food security.
  16. 16. • When viewed in relation to the probability of experiencing welfare loss caused by uncertain events, it also depends on the ability to reduce risks before a shock occurs (proactive) and respond effectively during and after they occur (reactive). • The vulnerability, which is a risk, hence a probability, may be measured, but in relative terms. • As there are no unique indicators to measure the three food security dimensions: availability, access and utilization, there is no unique indicator to measure vulnerability.
  17. 17. • Indeed, a person can be vulnerable to hunger even if he or she is not actually hungry at a given point in time. • Vulnerability analysis suggests two main intervention options: 1. Reduce the degree of exposure to the hazard; 2. Increase the ability to cope. • By accounting for vulnerability, food security policies and programs broaden their efforts from addressing current constraints to food consumption, to include actions that also address future threats to food security
  18. 18. Assignment Group work_Presentation 3.4 Causes of Livelihoods and Food Insecurity 3.4.1 Agro-Climatic 3.4.2 Environmental 3.4.3 Disaster Risks 3.4.4 Anthropogenic Causes

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