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Returning Home after Civil War: Food security, nutrition and poverty among Burundian households

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Author Info

  • Philip Verwimp

    ()
    (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles)

  • Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mora

    ()
    (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Abstract

Civil wars often force people to leave their homes. Displaced populations run higher risk in terms of disease, hunger and death, something that is well-documented. They leave their land, cattle and other assets behind for an uncertain existence in a refugee camp or depend on relatives or friends. But what happens when they return back home? This paper investigates the food security and poverty of formerly displaced households. Using the 2006 Core Welfare Indicator Survey for Burundi we compare their food intake and their level of expenses with that of their non-displaced neighbours. We test whether it is the duration of displacement that matters for current welfare or the time lapsed since returning. We use log- linear, ordered probit models as well as propensity score matching and an IV-approach to control by self-selection bias. We find that the individuals and households who returned home just before the time of the survey are worse off compared to those who returned several years earlier. On average, it takes 8 to 10 years after return before the level of welfare of the displaced converges to that of the non-displaced. The duration of displacement seems not to matter. On average, the formerly displaced have 7% lower food expenses and calorie intake, showing that the formerly displaced consume relatively more high calorie products. Results seem to be robust after controlling by self-selection bias. Despite international, government and NGO assistance, the welfare of recent returnees is lagging seriously behind in comparison with the local non-displaced populations.

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File URL: http://www.hicn.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/HiCN-WP-123-updated1.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Households in Conflict Network in its series HiCN Working Papers with number 123.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:123

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Web page: http://www.hicn.org

Related research

Keywords: Forced Displacement; Food Security; Nutrition; Poverty; Burundi;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. Verwimp, Philip, 2012. "Undernutrition, subsequent risk of mortality and civil war in Burundi," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 221-231.
  2. Carlos Bozzoli & Tilman Brück & Tony Muhumuza, 2011. "Activity Choices of Internally Displaced Persons and Returnees: Quantitative Survey Evidence from Post-War Northern Uganda," HiCN Working Papers 98, Households in Conflict Network.
  3. Behrman, Jere R, 1988. "Intrahousehold Allocation of Nutrients in Rural India: Are Boys Favored? Do Parents Exhibit Inequality Aversion?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 32-54, March.
  4. Bundervoet, Tom, 2010. "Assets, Activity Choices, and Civil War: Evidence from Burundi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 955-965, July.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. A socio-economic characterization of returnee households in the Nuba Mountains
    by Dany Jaimovich - Bakary Baludin in Development Therapy on 2013-03-15 16:32:00

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