Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) Iraq 2016
The 2016 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) was conducted during a new period of socio-economic uncertainty in Iraq. Thus, in addition to providing updated baseline documentation of Iraqi food security, it serves other important purposes, providing primary data for assessing the impact of the recent macro-economic slowdown on household food security, and calling attention to impacts on food available through Iraq’s
Public Distribution System (PDS). It also highlights the population’s food security needs given the recent sectarian-driven conflicts that have caused socio-political and economic disorder among communities and large-scale population displacement throughout the country since they began in 2014.
Recent macroeconomic trends and conflict set the context of the 2016 CFSVA
Iraq ranks as a middle-income country on the Human Development Index (HDI) with a population of 37.8 million that, according to 2016 estimates, is increasing at a rate of 2.5 percent each year. It is largely self-sufficient in the production of domestic vegetables, fruit and meat, and has been able to meet cereal requirements mainly through imports.
Still, its capacity to address the welfare needs of the population has been hampered recently by macroeconomic instability, as seen through the lower performance of its GDP and increased military spending related to conflict with DAESH. These are widely agreed to reflect the decline in oil export revenue in 2015 and on into 2016, and the socio-economic disruptions caused by sectarian violence in certain governorates, districts and sub-districts. The knock-on effects of these two occurrences include rising consumer food prices, large-scale population displacement, disruption of livelihoods and employment, and a reduction in well-being for the poorest most vulnerable groups.
Among the GDP sectors, agriculture in particular has paid the price of recent events. It has sustained losses in production, storage and livestock, which has had an impact on agricultural income and employment, and affected both PDS and non-PDS food items available for local consumption. Conflict in the early months of 2016 was one impediment to the timely flow of PDS circulation itself and coincided with general food price increases, with an overall impact on household food access.
Key questions defined and data analysed using new methodology
The 2016 survey was the first CFSVA conducted in Iraq since 2007. The analysis drew from both qualitative review of secondary data and quantitative primary data sources. The CFSVA centred on addressing a set of key questions, fundamental to understanding the vulnerability and the causes of food insecurity in target populations.
Using selected variables from the dataset, the Consolidated Approach for Reporting Indicators (CARI) was applied as a means of classifying those households according to the food security categories: food secure, vulnerable to food insecurity and food insecure. This method differed from the approach used in 2007, as it drew from a range of food security indicators related to food consumption, household food expenditures and coping capacity. For comparability during food security classification and analyses, the dataset was divided into two sample frames, one focused on resident households and the other on IDP households.