Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment in Armenia, Round 2, February 2021

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Executive Summary

The outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Nagorno Karabakh (NK) conflict situation In Armenia has triggered the necessity of periodically tracking and measuring the Food Security situation in Armenia to capture the changes and anticipate food crisis in the country if any.

The second Food Security Assessment (EFSA 2) has enabled WFP to compare the food security situation with the baseline study of June-July 2020 among Armenian Nationals and hosting families of spontaneous arrivals and contributed to the evidence base for emergency response planning, targeting as well as prioritizing of actions for relevant stakeholders. The WFP Armenia contracted RInsights Research Company for implementation of the two assessments.

For the second assessment, the data collection took place in November-December 2020. The study explored food security among Armenian households and compared those results with the ones from the previous similar research (EFSA 1), conducted in June-July of 2020. The survey used a nationally and regionally representative random sample of 4,237 respondents. Due to limitations evoked by COVID-19 pandemic, a telephone interviewing method was used for this assessment.

Food Security Assessment survey 2 (EFSA 2) results indicated that households’ comprehensive food security level was at the similar level with EFSA 1, with 19 percent and 17 percent respectively. Although household food consumption improved compared to EFSA 1 by 5.8 percentage points, reaching 90.2 percent acceptable food consumption, household’s economic vulnerability and adoption of livelihood coping strategies showed a deterioration.

The results from multivariate analysis (logistic regression) reveal that the households led by men, households with a head that has higher education, living in a home owned by the household, having stock of staple food, and higher income positively impacted the ability of the household to be food secure. In EFSA 1, being from a rural area also had a positive impact on food consumption of a household but this was not observed in EFSA 2. Moreover, the proportion of inacceptable food consumption households in rural and urban settlements was about the same in winter months.

Households with 4 and more children were extremely food insecure in both surveys with food insecurity of about 22 percent. There appeared to be no significant difference of food security among households that have received any type of assistance and the ones that haven’t received any. During EFSA 2 the highest share of food insecurity was reported in Lori, Shirak, and Gegharkunik regions with 11 percent of food insecurity level for each. The reported experience of food insecurity due to lack of financial resources (FIES) improved compared to EFSA 1 as well. About half of the respondents reported that the difficulties and negative experiences they faced were due to both war and COVID -19, whereas COVID-19 as the sole reason for the negative experience was reported by slightly higher proportion of respondents.