Food aid and household food security in a conflict situation : empirical evidence from Northern Uganda
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Food policy: economics, planning and politics of food agriculture. - London
, p. 14-22
University of Antwerp
It is well-established that armed political conflict has a detrimental effect on food security and household welfare: conflict induces food insecurity by reducing own food production, access to food through the market, and various other resources to sustain healthy and productive lives. One way of mitigating these adverse effects is to provide food aid. In this study we evaluate the impact of a World Food Programme intervention on household food security and asset protection among conflict-affected households in Northern Uganda. We employ propensity score matching to estimate the average treatment effect on food expenditure, food consumption and preservation of assets using a sample of 1265 observations from a 2008 survey. Our results reveal that the operations system of targeting beneficiaries was effective and in accordance with programme objectives. Food aid considerably reduced food expenditure of households, suggesting that recipients were net buyers of food, and that the food aid received was effectively consumed within the household. A corresponding positive effect on non-food expenditure was not found. Our results also indicate that food aid was effective in increasing meals consumed and in avoiding distress destocking of low value assets, but, surprisingly, only for male headed households.