Rethinking Food Aid in a Chronically Food-Insecure Region: Effects of Food Aid on Local Power Relations and Vulnerability Patterns in Northwestern Nepal

Volume 48 Number 4
Published: August 9, 2017

The impacts of repeated food aid programmes on households’ livelihood strategies and capacity to adapt to stressors such as climate change were investigated in the chronically food-insecure district of Humla in Nepal, using food security as an entry point for analysing vulnerability. The study questions food aid as a tool to reduce vulnerability, and argues that it may indirectly impede the enhancement of food security by reinforcing inequalities and local power structures that drive household vulnerability. The article concludes that a refocus addressing the social
dynamics that shape local vulnerability patterns is needed before food aid can contribute to enhancing households’ long-term adaptive capacity.


  • Aid
  • Climate Change
  • Food Security
From Issue: Vol. 48 No. 4 (2017) | Courting Catastrophe? Humanitarian Policy and Practice in a Changing Climate