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HIV/AIDS and the 2002 Food Emergency in Southern Africa

Roy Stacy, Chemonics International, 1133 20th Street, NW, Washington, DE 20036, 202-955-7595, rstacy@chemonics.net

A Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) study examined the extent of HIV/AIDS’ contribution to rural households’ problems in the 2002 food emergency in southern Africa and how impact varied according to households’ demographic structure, mortality and morbidity profile. Using data generated from emergency food security assessments in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in late 2002, this study used household level questionnaires. The sampling frame was based on livelihood zones. The study derived the association of proxy households to food security variables such as income, agricultural production, coping strategies, and food security outcome measures and compared these results to non-proxy households. Households affected by adult morbidity, mortality and with a high demographic load suffer from marked reductions in agricultural production and income generation, leading to earlier engagement in distress coping strategies, and a decline in food security. Insofar as these indicators suggest the presence of HIV and/or AIDS, this analysis strongly implies that HIV/AIDS has significantly increased household vulnerability to acute food insecurity. Different morbidity, mortality and demographic profiles have different effects on food security. Key differences are based on whether: the household has an active adult present, the head of household is chronically ill, there is a high dependency ratio, or the household has taken in orphaned children. A programmatic response would include consumption side support; productivity enhancing support; and support to household and community safety nets. Additional research is needed on the importance of different AIDS related morbidity and mortality profiles within and across wealth groups.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: I am an employee of Chemonics International and have worked on the project described.

Late-Breaking Topics

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA