Bangladesh + 1 more

Cox's Bazar - Bangladesh: Remote Food Security Assessment in Moheshkhali, Pekua and Kutubdia (December 2021)


Key Highlights

  • A remote food security assessment in the northern subdistricts of Cox’s Bazar was conducted in August-September 2021 by WFP Cox’s Bazar remote call centre to assess the impact of COVID 19 related lockdowns on food security and access to basic services.

  • Overall, one third of households (HHs) had unacceptable food consumption, highest in Pekua (35%) and lowest in Kutubdia (30%).

  • Diet diversity of 6-23 months aged children was acceptable in 12 percent of HHs in Pekua and 19-20% in Kutubdia and Moheshkhali.

  • Almost all households (95%) engaged in livelihood coping strategies and half percent employed crisis or emergency strategies. Buying food on credit (80%), spent savings (67%), borrowing money (58%) and reduced essential non-food expenses (48%) were the most frequent coping strategies. Households with debts were significantly higher in Pekua (92%) than Moheshkhali (83%).

  • On average, only one adult worked more than 7 days in the month prior the interview; 17 days on average. HHs with 2 adults working more than 7 days were significantly more frequent in Moheshkhali (17%) compared to Pekua or Kutubdia (8%).

  • Overall, 82 percent of households reported a reduced monthly income compared to same time last year mainly due to movement restrictions (51%), reduced daily labour opportunities and business closure due to COVID 19 (43%). The monthly income of 38 percent of housheolds was reduced in more than 25%.

  • One fourth of households (73%) had at least one member sick and 59 percent of those in need of health care faced challenges to access health facilities, mainly due to the lack of money (92%), followed by the distance (6%).

  • Two thirds of HHs (66%) faced challenges to access markets, mainly due to lack of money (46%), followed by travel restrictions (24%) and markets closure (24%).

  • Majority of households (87%) were affected by a disaster in the 12 months prior the survey, mainly windstorms (81%) and floods/flash floods (63%), that limited access to services (73%), disrupted livelihoods (71%) or damaged shelters (59%) among others impacts.

  • Food (56%), shelter (47%) and livelihoods (44%), followed by water (34%) were the main reported household needs and concerns.

  • One third of HHs received food or livelihood assistance in the last month, mainly unconditional cash (65%) or food in kind (27%).

  • Some of the factors significantly associated with unacceptable food consumption (food insecurity) included relying on daily casual labour, assistance or high risk activities as main income source, a more than 25% reduction of HH monthly income, the lack of adult members working more than 7 days or the main income earner working less than 2 weeks in the last month, household heads with primary education incomplete, higher dependency ratio with more than 2 dependents per abled adult, reporting lack of money as main challenge to access health care or markets, having been affected by windstorms and less by floods which could indicate a different physiographic location, reporting injuries and deaths as impact of disasters, mentioning food as key concern, employing food consumption and crisis livelihood coping strategies and not receiving assistance but benefit from the Government VGD Programme.

  • Food insecurity was higher among female headed households (FHH) but differences with male headed households (MHH) were not significant, probably partly because FHH were more likely to receive assistance, especially unconditional cash and agricultural inputs. Compared to MHH, FHH were more likely to depend on remittances, assistance or high-risk activities, to not have adults working more than 7 days, to have higher dependency ratio, to have heads who never attended school or to employ coping strategies.