1.1 Effects of a crisis on food security

Humanitarian crises often cause food shortages in households; a weak maternal and child care environment; and poor public health services. Combined, these factors can cause inadequate food intake and disease for individuals, ultimately resulting in malnutrition and death.

Thus, in the event of humanitarian crises one needs to examine it effects:

  • Effect on food availability-Quantities and varieties of food available in the area may have been affected and not be sufficient. Food stocks, production, supply systems and markets may not be adequate or functioning optimally.
  • Effect on food access-A household’s own production, income, purchasing power, transfer from other sources and livelihood assets may have been disrupted or eroded. Households may not be able to access sufficient food without losing productive assets, which will have long-term effects on their livelihoods.
  • Effect on food utilisation-People may have access to food, but may not be able to utilise it efficiently and effectively due to several factors (for example, no fuel or containers to cook, illness prevents full absorption). People’s nutritional status may also be affected, as emergencies may change their food consumption and/or public health conditions and care practices.