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COVID-19 Working Paper: Food Insecurity During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Four African Countries


  • Bloem, Jeffrey
  • Michler, Jeffrey D.
  • Josephson, Anna
  • Rudin-Rush, Lorin


This report analyzes trends in food security up to one year after the onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in four African countries. Using household-level data collected by the World Bank, this report shows differences in food security over time during the pandemic between rural and urban areas as well as between female- and male-headed households in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Nigeria. Analysis of data collected during the pandemic shows a sharp increase in food insecurity in the early months of the pandemic with a subsequent gradual decline. Additionally, this report finds that a larger increase in food insecurity occurred in rural areas relative to urban areas within each of these countries. Finally, the authors found no systemic difference in food insecurity between female-headed and male-headed households. These trends, documented amid the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, complement previous microeconomic analyses studying short-term changes in food security associated with the pandemic and macroeconomic projections based on expected changes to income, prices, and food supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Bloem, Jeffrey & Michler, Jeffrey D. & Josephson, Anna & Rudin-Rush, Lorin, 2022. "COVID-19 Working Paper: Food Insecurity During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Four African Countries," USDA Miscellaneous 323870, United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:usdami:323870
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.323870

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Deus R. Rutehenda & Christopher Adaku & Timothy Omara & Christopher Angiro & Emmanuel Ntambi, 2024. "Enrichment, Bioaccumulation and Health Risks of Trace Metals in Soils and Leafy Vegetables Grown on the Banks of the Ugandan Lifeline River, River Rwizi," World, MDPI, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, March.
    3. Martin Paul Jr. Tabe-Ojong & Emmanuel Nshakira-Rukundo & Bisrat Haile Gebrekidan, 2023. "COVID-19 and food insecurity in Africa: A review of the emerging empirical evidence," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Oxford University Press and the European Agricultural and Applied Economics Publications Foundation, vol. 50(3), pages 853-878.
    4. Jafarov, Jafar & Singh, Tejendra Pratap, 2024. "Harvesting Hunger: The Impact of Opium Ban on Food Security in Afghanistan," OSF Preprints bm3yw, Center for Open Science.

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