A nationwide survey conducted by United Nations World Food Programme, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and backing from the Government of Australia, showed that 23 per cent households had inadequate food consumption.

About 7.2 per cent had embraced at least one coping strategy to address food shortage and about 5.7 per cent of households reported that the food they had in stock was insufficient to meet their needs.

Current food insecurity status was more common in Sudurpaschim Province, Province 2, and Karnali Province – estimated as a combination of poor food consumption and poor dietary diversity.

According to Livelihoods, Food Security and Vulnerability Survey report released in Kathmandu today, seven per cent of households had poor dietary diversity, a rise by two percentage compared to the Annual Household Survey (2016/17).

The report also showed that 46 per cent of children between 6-23 months lacked minimum dietary diversity. The COVID-19 crisis has affected livelihoods of Nepali households, with one out of 10 households reporting a loss of livelihood and three out of 10 households a reduction in income.

Income decrease was relatively more common in Province 5, Sudurpaschim Province and Province 2, while loss of livelihood was more common in Province 5, Karnali Province and Sudurpaschim Province.

Access to food has additionally crumbled among every day wage workers and family units that are female-headed and uneducated.

A total of 25 per cent non-agriculture daily wage labourers reported loss of income source, followed by 11.6 per cent agriculture-related daily wage labourers, said the report.

In accordance with job loss, a reduction in income was more prevalent for certain livelihood types and households with a migrant worker. Moreover, income reduction was more common among households with a family member having chronic illness and those that are sourcing food through market purchases.

48 per cent income reduction was found among large and medium traders, 46 per cent among remittance recipients, followed by 33 per cent daily wage labourers in agriculture and cash crop farmers.

Food insecurity was more prevalent among daily wage labourers and cash crop farmers. Higher levels of food insecurity were also observed among households that sourced food from the market and households that did not have food stocks.

More than three out of four respondents reported having food stocks, of which around 42 per cent had more than one-month worth of food stock. About 55 per cent of households acquired food through market purchase and around 44 per cent consumed food from their own production.

The data for the survey covered 4,416 households from all the seven provinces, and were collected from April 14 to 24, said WFP Nepal.