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Ahmed, Ismail Ibrahim (1994) Understanding Household Responses to Food Insecurity and Famine Conditions in Rural Somaliland. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis examines the responses adopted by rural households in Somaliland to changes in their resource endowments and market exchange during the 1988- 1992 food crisis. It tests whether there is a predictable sequence of responses adopted by rural households when faced with food insecurity and famine conditions and examines the implications of this for famine early warning and famine response. The research is based on fieldwork conducted in rural Somaliland in 1992. A sample of 100 households interviewed just before the outbreak of the war in 1987 were re-sampled, allowing comparisons to be made before and after the crisis. These households experienced food insecurity and famine conditions caused by the 1988 war which displaced almost the entire population and disrupted markets, trade and food production. The thesis reviews droughts and famines from the late 19th century to the present and investigates their causes and impacts on rural households. It also examines both the adaptive and coping strategies developed by the households in response to these crises. These strategies have largely been successful in mitigating the effects of droughts and famines and preventing widespread starvation in most food crises. It is argued that droughts and famines in postcolonial periods were characterised by a lack of public intervention and a failure of policies which contributed to the long-term vulnerability of the households. The hypothesis that there is a predictable pattern of responses adopted by rural households is rejected on the basis of empirical evidence presented in this thesis. The implication of this is that monitoring response sequences cannot generally be used to provide indicators of the level of stress faced by households in crisis situations as they can produce misleading information. It is argued that greater understanding of market conditions and household resource allocation is required if household responses are to be used for famine early warning and famine intervention.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 16:57

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