Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis, February 2017

Background

The food security and vulnerability analysis results are based on a) the Inter-Agency Vulnerability Assessment undertaken in Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts (IAVA) assessment, through face to face interviews (data collection was finalized in September) and b) the REACH non-government control area (NGCA) assessment (data collection was finalized in October), which was done through phone interviews.

A Technical Working Group analyzed and harmonized the two data sets. A total of 4,200 households interviews were conducted, making it one of the biggest data sets for Donbass since the beginning of the conflict. The analysis was done according to three main groups: 1) the host population on the government controlled area (GCA), 2) Internal Displaced Persons in government controlled area (IDPs) and 3) the host population in the non-government controlled area (NGCA). Data and findings are representative on the oblast level.

The structure of the Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis is based on the CARI methodology (four main food security indicators, people in need and a gap analysis).

Findings.

Analysis on the Food Consumption Score (FCS) shows:

  • Share of people with poor and borderline levels of food consumption is estimated at 7.3% in GCA, 9.2% for IDPs residing in GCA and 15.2% among the general population in NGCA.

  • Donetsk NGCA has the highest level of poor and borderline levels.

  • Among all areas observed females continue to be much more vulnerable than males with 14.8 % and 5.5% of average poor and borderline level of food consumed accordingly. Most of those are single headed with children.

  • Elders living alone are another very vulnerable category.

  • Households composed of two family members(wife and a husband) have better level of food consumption. Most often these are also younger couples.

  • Across all areas observed chronically ill and people with disabilities have higher levels of poor and borderline food consumption score with 13.5% and 12.6% accordingly.

Cash and own household level production are the main sources of food in Donbas. The highest share of own production is represented by roots, vegetables and fruits. Much higherlevels of own production are observed in Luhansk oblast almost for all the aforementioned food commodities. Oil and sugar come almost all from cash. Analysis shows lower consumption of pulses compared to other commodities.
Cereals, oils and sugar are most commonly commodities distributed by aid agencies. IDPs have almost the same pattern of own production that non-IDPs which can be associated with increased accessibility to land for both. In case of meat and meat products non-IDPs have better access possibly due higher levels of livestock ownership.

With regard to distribution of assistance, IDPs are more supported by aid agencies. Donetsk NGCA is significantly better covered by aid agencies compared to all other areas observed.

Diet is quite poorer in NGCA, especially with regard to meat, milk and milk products, eggs, fruits and vegetables. Continuation of poor diets in these areas should be of concern on the longer term.

Trends in Time

In 2016 developments of food consumption levels were positive with significant reduction of poor food consumption levels in GCA. In NGCA the situation remains unchanged with a clear seasonal trend of the poor and borderline food consumption score rising from 15% in the summer period to 30% in the winter.
Application of (Negative) Coping Strategies decreased overall in all areas and groups observed. However almost half of the population in both GCA and NGCA continue to apply negative coping strategies. IDPs apply them more, with 59% of household applying stress, crisis and emergency coping strategies.

Among the stress coping strategies spent savings is the most common. Around 40% of the households interviewed reduced health expenditures. Some of the respondents used degrading sources of income or high risk jobs with average 3.2 %. More households in NGCA for sold house or land. Among all areas female headed households with children, households living without spouse apply more negative coping strategies.

Application of coping strategies with regard to food intake is higher among the population in NGCA with 11.32 points, IDPs residing in GCA 9.95 point and Non-IDPs 7.4. Reducing expenditure on food and reducing portion of meals are among the negative strategies most in use.

The analysis for the Food Expenditure show that the average percentage of share of food expenditure among the population in GCA and IDPs are on the same level respectively estimated at 52% and 53%. This goes very in line with statistics from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. The same indicator in NGCA stands higher with households spending 69% of their budget of food. In NGCA data shows that some 45% of the population is spending as much as 75% of their budget on food. It could be explained with the same average of income and total expenditure for GCA and NGCA on the one side and 25% of higher prices in NGCA on the other side.

Food Security Index, a combination of the above mentioned food security indicators are higher in GCA where 7 % were found food insecure, 8% among IDPs and around 13% for NGCA. Luhansk oblast continues to have the higher level of food insecurity levels with 14% of the population affected by food insecurity.

Across all areas observed the most vulnerable groups are single headed households with children, elder (60+) living alone mostly and most often females, chronically ill and people with disabilities.
As a result of above mentioned analysis, the number of people in need (food insecure) was estimated: the overall number of people food insecure in Donbass is estimated to be around 620,000. Among those nearly 38,000 of IDPs.