Impact of climate related shocks and stresses on nutrition and food security in selected areas of rural Bangladesh

Impact of climate related shocks and stresses on nutrition and food security in selected areas of rural Bangladesh

With a population over 156 million people, 80 percent of whom live in rural areas, and 70 percent of land area five meters or less above sea level, environmental hazards such as floods, cyclones, salt water intrusion and river erosion are expected to have massive destructive impacts in Bangladesh. In effect it is estimated that 30 to 50 percent of the country is affected by severe climatic shocks every year. In addition, undernutrition has long been recognised as a problem of significant magnitude in Bangladesh.

This study attempts to break down ‘climate change’ into ‘climate related shocks and stresses in the course of time’ and conceptualises the food security and nutrition outcomes as combination of the adverse effects of shocks with the strategies that individuals/households develop in response to these shocks. It makes the following policy and research recommendations:

  • Better integration of food security and nutrition interventions into climate change focused programmes
  • Recognising the key role of markets in the post-disaster recovery period 
  • The need for in-depth assessment of impacts at different stages of the disaster relief and rehabilitation process
  • Recognising the critical importance of fish and fishing activities in the post-disaster recovery period 
  • Protecting both children and women
  • Strengthening the resilience of households to climate-related events 
  • Recognising the critical importance of high frequency data surveys
  • The need for in-depth quantitative and qualitative studies