Does credit improve the food consumption vulnerability of the extreme poor? - Empirical evidence from Bangladesh
This paper examines the extent of seasonal hunger and its food consumption vulnerability among rural households in the North West part of Bangladesh (i.e., the greater Rangpur region) and whether the Programmed Initiative for Monga Eradication or PRIME interventions (such as flexible micro-credit, Emergency loan and cash for work) have some positive impact for improving the consumption ordering of monga affected households or not. Seasonal hunger, also known as monga in greater Rangpur, is caused by a deprivation of food during certain months of the year when households do not have adequate employment, income, and savings. That is, monga is an ex post measure of seasonal deprivation of food. However, for policymaking purpose, knowing who are going to be in seasonal hunger in future is more important than knowing who already are. This ex post measure of seasonal food deprivation through the changes in consumption ordering in two years- 2008 and 2007 can be defined as food consumption vulnerability. That is, vulnerability to seasonal hunger is the likelihood of remaining in or falling into seasonal hunger. Households smooth consumption via income smoothing and other measures, which also reduce their vulnerability to monga. When consumption smoothing does not happen for one reason or another, food deprivation is sure to follow.
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