1.2. Food Security Fundamentals
Food Security Cluster Needs Assessment Workshop Dhaka, Bangladesh 19 – 20 February 2012
Session Objectives After this session, participants should be able to:
Define a number of key food security concepts, including availability, access, utilisation, stability, livelihoods, coping, and resilience Explain the chief differences between chronic and transitory food insecurity Identify the key components of the food and nutrition security conceptual framework
Food Security defined…
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life [World Food Summit Plan of Action, paragraph 1, 1996]
The “Pillars” of Food Security
Utilisation Availability Access Stability
Availability the amount of food of appropriate quality physically present in the area, and is expected to become available in that area may be aggregated at the national, provincial, district or community level. Food availability is determined by: production: food produced in the area stocks: food held by traders, in government reserves [and at farm level] in the area trade: food brought into (and taken out of) the area through market mechanisms bulk transfers: food brought into the area by the government and/or aid agencies
Access (of households in specific population groups) The ability of households (in specific population groups ) to regularly acquire adequate amounts of appropriate food for a nutritious diet Means of access may include: own production – of crops, livestock or farmed fish hunting, fishing or gathering wild foods purchases at markets, shops, etc. barter exchange – exchange of items for food gifts from friends, relatives, community, transfers from government or aid agencies (relief or safety net programmes), food-for-work, cash/vouchers, etc.
Utilisation The use that households make of the food to which they have access, and individuals’ ability to absorb and metabolize the nutrients. Food utilization depends on: how food is stored, processed and prepared (including the water and cooking fuel available, and hygiene practices) feeding practices, particularly for special needs individuals: the young & elderly; the sick; pregnant & lactating women sharing of food within the household; the extent to which this meets individuals’ nutritional needs – growth, pregnancy, lactation, etc. health status of each household member
Stability consistency and reliability of food availability and access Stability means households should not risk losing access to food as a consequence of sudden shocks or cyclical events.
Livelihoods Coping Resilience
the capabilities, assets, and activities required for a means of living linked to survival and (future) well-being. Livelihood strategies are the practical means or activities through which people access food and other necessaries, or income to buy them. Coping activities that people resort to temporarily in order to obtain food, income and/or services when their normal means of livelihood have been disrupted Resilience the capacity to withstand and recover from food security shocks
A livelihoods approach examines:
impact of shock on human, financial, social, physical, & natural, assets (agricultural, livestock, etc. impact of policies, institutions, other processes strategies the affected are using to survive … tries to determine likely outcomes for the affected: changes in vulnerability, food / nutrition security status, etc.
Temporal aspects of food insecurity
Chronic Food Insecurity A long-term or persistent inability to meet minimum food requirements Without appropriate attention, can lead to: STUNTING Transitory Food Insecurity A short-term or temporary inability to meet minimum food requirements, indicating a capacity to recover Without appropriate attention, can lead to: WASTING
Temporal aspects & severity of food insecurity
Negative synergies between chronic & transitory food insecurity
Transitory can become chronic: repeated crises can lead households towards chronic food insecurity Moderate chronic can become severe chronic: Households in chronic food insecurity are more vulnerable to deterioration due to crisis, compared to those who are in transitory food insecurity
Impact of crises on resilient households
Exposure to shocks
Impact of crises on vulnerable households
Food & Nutrition Security Conceptual Framework: Key Concepts
Livelihoods Food security Nutrition security
Food and Nutrition Security Conceptual Framework
Focuses on causal analysis: as in the UNICEF Malnutrition Framework
Causes Inadequate Food Intake Disease Immediate Household Food Security Social & Care Environment Access to Health Care & Health Environment Underlying Household food insecurity, or the lack of food, is a major factor in many humanitarian emergencies. Displaced populations are often separated from their normal source of food. Although some agencies, such as the World Food Programme, have standardized methodologies specifically to assess food insecurity, there are no consensus recommendations regarding assessment methods. One simple way to crudely estimate the contribution of household food insecurity in a malnourished population is to compare the prevalence of acute protein-energy malnutrition in children less than 2 years of age to the prevalence in children 2-4 years of age. Older children normally have a lower prevalence rate of acute malnutrition, but if food insecurity is an important factor, they too will become significantly malnourished. Poor social and care environment often consists largely of poor infant feeding practices, poor home care for ill children, and poor health care seeking behaviour. Nutrition surveys will often ask questions about breastfeeding, general feeding practices, and home care and clinic visits during the last episode of illness. However, this is not the only applicable method for assessing the contribution of this group of underlying causes. Poor access to health care and unhealthy environment can often be assessed using disease surveillance data and program data. In nutrition assessments, surveillance data for those diseases which are known to have substantial and rapid impact on nutritional status, such as dysentery and pneumonia, should routinely be analyzed. Many such diseases can produce rapid weight loss even in children and adults with normal pre-disease nutritional status. The environment can be assessed with standard indicators of sanitation and water supply (for more information, see section on Water Supply, Sanitation, and Shelter). Productive Resources Formal & Informal Infrastructure Political Ideology Basic
Conceptual Framework: levels of analysis (1)
Basic causes: structural factors that establish the context in which malnutrition and food insecurity exist
Conceptual Framework: levels of analysis (2)
Underlying causes: characteristics of individual households that make them more, or less, susceptible to malnutrition and food insecurity
Conceptual Framework: levels of analysis (3)
Immediate causes: factors that can lead directly to malnutrition and death
Conceptual Framework: levels of analysis (4)
Outcomes: malnutrition and excess mortality arising from failure to resolve problems at other levels
Wrap-up Food security = stable food availability, access and utilisation Distinguishing between chronic and transitory food security is important for understanding the potential impact of food security response options A livelihoods approach orients the planning and design of the assessment, as well as targeting the response options The food and nutrition security conceptual framework helps to guide the planning design of food security assessments
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