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Impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity using multiple waves of high frequency household surveys

Nature Dasgupta, S., Robinson, E. 2022-2-3
Article on the tracking of food insecurity and its determinants during the pandemic using multi-country and multi-wave evidence. Using data from 11 countries and up to 6 waves of High-Frequency Phone Survey data (household-level surveys) on COVID's impacts, a fixed-effects linear probability model was used to investigate the socioeconomic determinants of food insecurity during the pandemic for each country. Socioeconomic characteristics including gender and education of the household head; income and poverty status of the households during the pandemic; safety nets in the form of cash and food assistance; coping strategies adopted by households; and price effects of major food items were controlled. The findings suggested that cash safety nets appear to have been more effective than food in terms of reducing food insecurity during the pandemic; and that those particularly hard hit are female headed-households, the less educated, and poorer households. In line with the existing literature, the results showed that, even controlling for income loss and poverty status, those households who had to borrow rather than rely on savings had a higher probability of suffering from food insecurity. Distinct differences in the efficacy of safety nets across the 11 countries, and the differential impact of the pandemic on different groups within societies, suggest in-depth country-specific studies are needed to understand why some countries have coped better than others. This paper highlights the importance of improving household resilience to future systemic crises, and using evidence-based best practice in the design of relevant policy instruments.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Education
  • Food Insecurity
  • Social Support and Protection
  • Women and/or Girls
  • Africa
  • Armenia
  • Asia
  • Cambodia
  • Central Africa
  • Chad
  • Djibouti
  • East Africa
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Nigeria
  • Southern Africa
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Uganda
  • West Africa
  • West Asia
  • Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
  • Adult men
  • Adult women
  • Adults (men and/or women 19+ years old)
  • Households
  • Research
  • Article
  • Scientific Publication/Journal article

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