Determinants of Food Insecurity and Coping Strategies of Internally Displaced Households Residing in Gelan Town, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


This study was undertaken in Gelan town of Oromia Region with the objectives to investigate the food insecurity status of the displaced households, to identify the determinants of food insecurity, and to identify the mechanisms used by these households to cope up with food insecurity in the study area. A total of 142 randomly selected households were interviewed to collect quantitative data on demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, household dietary diversity, coping mechanisms, and food access behaviors. Besides, focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews were undertaken to collect qualitative data. Both descriptive statistics and econometric analysis were employed using SPSS version 20 software. Furthermore, ch-square and independent t-tests were conducted to investigate the relationship between the predictor variables and food security status. The descriptive analysis showed that about 18 percent of the study participants were food secure while 82 percent of them were food insecure households, indicating that the community under study was predominantly food insecure. The age and educational level of the household had a significant (P<0.05) influence on the food security status. Similarly, the study found out that household size, monthly household income, employment status, access to credit, and remittance had a significant influence on the food security status of the internally displaced people (IDP). However, the results of the binary logistic regression model indicated that three of the eight explanatory variables, namely dependency ratio, education level, and monthly households’ income were statistically significant (P<0.05) as determinants of household food security. The mean coping strategy index (CSI) score was 54.26 for the IDP households during the assessment period. During the study period, almost all the households practiced dietary change as a response to mild food shortages. At sever condition of food shortages, either borrowing food from neighbors and local shops or begging from the local community were implemented by the households. Moreover, the study confirmed that 28.2 percent of the households have practiced skipping out the whole days without eating at least for a day in a week during the study period. On the other hand, the mean dietary diversity score (HDDS) was 4.94 for the IDP households with a minimum of 2 and maximum of 8 HDDS. The study confirmed that dietary diversity was lacking with a severe problem among the 47 percent of the respondents since their diets are predominantly based on starchy staples such as cereals while little or no animal products, fruits and vegetables were consumed. Finally, the study concluded that majority of the IDP households did not have wellestablished and sustainable livelihood sources. Therefore, more attention should be given to these IDP households to assist them able to establish sustainable household income and livelihood sources.



IDP households; Food security; coping strategy, food insecurity