The remote food security monitoring system (mVAM) was launched in February 2021. The phone-based survey was conducted among 1,072 spontaneous arrivals and 273 hosting families of the spontaneous arrivals during February-March 2021 located across Armenia. The mVAM survey was launched to monitor the food security situation of spontaneous arrivals and their hosting families, and assess the impact of the COVID19 pandemic and the influx from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
In February-March 2021, 22 percent of hosting families and 15 percent of spontaneous arrivals were moderately and severely food insecure.
Two-thirds of both households of spontaneous arrivals and hosting families applied crisis and emergency coping strategies (68 and 65 percent respectively). This finding was alarming as the application of negative coping strategies could bring severe consequences in terms of future social-economic conditions of spontaneous arrivals and hosting families.
The cost of the standard food basket has increased since February 2020 in Armenia. Price increases in Armenian markets reflect regional or global price hikes. Armenia is highly dependent on food imports, so global price changes on basic goods, fuel and transport, resonate on market prices in Armenia.
COVID-19 had significant implications on the food and nutrition security situation and poverty in Armenia. This was further exacerbated, when the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) region broke out in September and October of 2020, leading to mass casualties (including civilian), damage and destruction of both public and private property, as well as mass movement of people on both sides. The overall situation resulted in market price hikes for several food commodities. Price hikes were also caused by significant fluctuations in the of the exchange rate of Armenian dram.
The ongoing crisis has affected local and regional food systems with a declined access to food. The shocks have triggered a necessity of periodically measuring the Food Security situation in Armenia, particularly among spontaneous arrivals and hosting families.