Impact of food aid on pastoralist livelihoods

The evidence brief “The impact of food assistance on pastoralist livelihoods in humanitarian crises” (2017, 7pp) is based on a full systematic review on the impact of in-kind food assistance on pastoralist livelihoods in emergency situations. Pastoralists rely on adaptation strategies that have historically allowed them to achieve high levels of productivity, manage the hazards and unpredictability of life in marginal areas and moderate the impacts of shocks. Despite the unique suitability of these strategies to their livelihoods, the food security of many pastoralists – especially in Africa – is increasingly under threat. Crises faced by pastoralists have increased in frequency and intensity in recent decades. Assistance for nutrition and food security has been the priority of most humanitarian interventions, which have usually involved direct provision of food to affected populations. Can such food aid address food security? Does it contribute to the erosion of pastoralist livelihoods? Does it lead to changes in mobility patterns? This synthesis is the first attempt to identify and evaluate existing evidence about both short- and long-term impacts of in-kind food assistance on pastoralist populations and their livelihoods in humanitarian crises. The evidence brief forms part of a series of humanitarian evidence syntheses and systematic reviews commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme of Oxfam GB and the Feinstein International Center of Tufts University. Much of the evidence for this study was drawn from the Horn and East Africa.

Posted on 22 April 2017 in Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition