RNA Assessment Report on COVID-19 effects on food security and livelihood

Siddique, A. B.
Publication language
Date published
01 Apr 2020
Impact assessment
Accountability to affected populations (AAP), COVID-19
Use in Humanitarian Programme Cycle
Quick Assessment
Action Against Hunger, USAID, USAID

Cox’s Bazar Sadar Upazila, Ukhiya Upazila and Teknaf Upazila are among the 50 most socially deprived Upazilas in Bangladesh where the government social safety nets are inadequately allocated. The situation has been exacerbated by the arrival of large numbers of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar during the most recent influx in 2017. Due to the Rohingya influx, lower-income host communities’ livelihoods are facing challenges for resulting in the need for emergency assistance to the host communities. Strengthening the livelihood and healthcare of families of the host communities is multifaceted and challenging in this coastal area which is prone to natural disasters, including cyclones, landslides and floods. 

As part of a response to the food insecurity situation, the USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) under its Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) awarded an activity entitled, “Rapid Economic and Asset Recovery for the Rohingya Affected community linked with Nutrition and Gender Equity (RE-ARRANGE)” to the consortium of ACF, HKI and Shushilan in October 2019. The overall goal of RE-ARRANGE is to stimulate rapid economic recovery through cash transfers to improve food and nutrition security of vulnerable households in the rural and urban communities around the Rohingya refugee camps and settlements in Cox’s Bazar. When the time came to provide assistance for the targeted participants to address the lean period of unemployment by providing cash through CFW the COVID-19 situation stuck the entire planned activities.

Since the first case of COVID-19 registered on March 8, Bangladesh has seen as of April 11, 2020, 482 affected and 30 deaths. Local transmission is observed around the country. So the trends of spread is now unpredictable. In order to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Bangladesh has issued ‘Stay Home’ directives shutting down productive and commercial activities from 26 March through April 11th in 1st and 2nd phase declaration. It was further extended up to April 25, 2020. 

Cox’s Bazar District is one of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable, with a total Bangladeshi population of 2,650,000. Additionally, the District Administration of Cox’s Bazar predicts that more than 700,000 people in Cox’s Bazar District will be immediately jobless due to the ‘Stay at Home’ directive. This loss of livelihoods coupled with a decrease in access to the local market has disrupted activities and resulted in extra support needs for food security.  Considering the situation RE-ARRANGE management decided to conduct a study on Rapid Need Assessment (RNA) to know the targeted participant’s food security situation. As per the decision, the RNA-related activities started as of April 1, 2020. 

Authored by Md. Abu Bakar Siddique, Program Manager-Food Security, Livelihood &DRR with the assistance of Tapan Kumar Choroborty, Head of Department, FSL&DRR, ACF Bangladesh. Data collected by the RE-ARRANGE project staff.