Food and nutrition security in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during COVID-19 pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread to virtually every corner of the world, lockdowns, supply disruptions, and economic pain have followed in its wake, raising alarm about food and nutrition security among policy makers, the development community, and other observers. Representative survey data on households’ immediate and longer-term responses to the pandemic is necessary to understand these impacts and their implications, and to plan and target appropriate responses. The need is especially urgent for urban areas, where residents may face greater public health risks and tighter restrictions. To cast light on how households in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, are reacting to the crisis, IFPRI’s Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (ESSP), with the support of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), has begun a series of monthly phone surveys. Initial data demonstrate that poorer households are taking a greater economic hit than those with higher incomes, and that dietary diversity has declined. The results suggest the food security situation in Addis Ababa could sharply deteriorate in the coming weeks if disease transmission and social distancing measures continue.