Recent country statistics of the Republic of Armenia show some fifteen percent1 of the population has been food insecure and almost a quarter, 23.5 percent2 of the population live in poverty with a degree of variation by the regions. Given the state of the marginal income of families, they are vulnerable segments of the population and unable to withstand any shocks.
In March 2020, the global pandemic COVID 19 has begun to surface in Armenia, as until now, the virus is lurking around infecting people. This has and continues to disrupt all sectors of the socio-economic activities of the entire country. The pandemic has cost lives and severely impacted the livelihood means of the majority of the population.
Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment is a routine WFP mechanism applying statistical methods and tools for drawing inference on the general food security and vulnerability situation at the household level. The assessment includes the collection of relevant supporting data through a direct survey, conducting analysis, and comparisons of collected data. This assessment has provided a specific focus on the impact of the pandemic to correlate the household food security situation across all regions of Armenia.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting food systems directly through impacts on food supply and demand, and indirectly through decreases in purchasing power and in the capacity to produce and distribute food. These factors have a differentiated impact and will more strongly affect the poor and vulnerable.
With a specific focus on food security and national scope, the objective of the assessment is to establish an evidence base for the Government of Armenia, WFP Armenia Country Office, national and international partners and UN Agencies to plan response with appropriate actions, targeting and prioritization. The assessment will complement the already existing data and will coordinate with the ongoing data collection efforts by the UN agencies, International and National organizations to the extent possible.
The assessment aimed to answer the following questions:
➢ Which population groups are food-insecure now (how many are affected now, where are they located, how many will be affected in the future)?
➢ How has the COVID-19 affected people’s ability to meet their food and other essential needs?
➢ What is the impact on nutrition, as people shift diets to more shelf-stable and less nutritious foods?
➢ How are households reallocating their resources and prioritizing among different and possibly new essential needs including food, hygiene, health, shelter, transport, etc.?