Food Security Status and Coping Strategies of Female-Headed Households in Addis Ababa: The Case of Woreda 01 in Gullelle Sub-City

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of this study was to assess the food security status of urban Female-Headed Households (FHHs) and their coping strategies in Woreda aI, Gullelle Sub-city of Addis Ababa. Mixed approach of qualitative and quantitative study was used for conducting the study. The main data collection methods employed during the study was household Survey, in-depth interview and Focus Group Discussion (FGD). The data were analyzed using frequency tables, percentage, pearsons's correlation and cross tabulation. And their food security status was also reckoned using Coping Strategy Index and Food Consumption Score calculation developed by Dan Maxwell and World Food Program (WFP) respectively. The outcome of the study indicates that most of the FHHs relied on informal workfor their livelihood. Concerning their food security status, based on the above mentioned measurements most of them are food insecure. Using Food Consumption Score and WFP standard, it is found that 50.8% of the sample households are under poor food consumption, 43.3% are in borderline and only the remaining 5.9% are in acceptable food consumption level. Using Coping Strategy Index, it is found that all households use various types of coping strategies which implies that the sample households have food security problem. Based on quartile ranking categorization of food security status of the households, the study shows that 19.2% of the household are extremely severe food insecure status, 26.7% are severe food insecure status, 26.7% are moderately severe food insecure status and 27.5% are least severe insecure status. The study shows FHHs food insecurity problem is mainly attributed to lack of education coupled with low income, current food price inflation, less social capital, poor health and lack of physical capital especially housing. This in turn has an impact in buying better quantity and quality of food. It was also found that most food insecure households have various coping strategies to withstand food stress such as relying on less preferred and less expensive food, limiting the volume of meal, restricting consumption order for small children and skipping meals. The extremely severe strategy is sending children to eat with neighbors and sending household members for begging. Thus, the government interventions are highly required to address these problems, specifically after the extremely severe coping strategy.



Strategies of Female-Headed Households