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African Development Review ; 34(4):556-569, 2022.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-2257290


The effectiveness of food aid in reducing household food insecurity in developing countries has been extensively examined in previous studies. This study explores this issue in the context of COVID-19, using the example of emergency food aid provided by the Senegalese government. Field survey data were collected from 4500 recipients and non-recipients, and the matching method was used to examine whether there was a significant difference between the two groups. Several dimensions of food insecurity were explored through five indicators: the food consumption score and the coping strategies index from the World Food Programme and three indicators of simple, moderate and severe food insecurity based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale of the US Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The results show that government aid has a negative and significant impact on the diversity and nutritional value of beneficiary households' diets. Nevertheless, this programme prevented the use of extreme coping strategies. Furthermore, government aid has a positive impact on food security as measured by negative experiences related to food access. Ultimately, despite low nutritional intake, the programme had a positive effect on recipients' food access compared with non-beneficiaries. Therefore, for future interventions, the government should promote local and more nutritious products to sustainably improve food security.