Climate Change and Food Security: Health Risks and Vulnerabilities of the Poor in Bangladesh

By Fariba Alamgir, Papreen Nahar, Andrew E. Collins, Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett and Abbas Bhuiya.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In Bangladesh, food security is increasingly being adversely affected by extreme climatic events. The food price hike has been fueled by the consecutive floods and cyclone of 2007. The immediate health impacts of these disasters include illnesses, deaths and psychological stress or trauma. A secondary impact has been food insecurity, badly affecting the health of the majority of the population in multiple ways. With the fall in income, and rise in expenditure costs, loss of assets during disaster and the burden of loan repayments, the process of pauperization of the low income households is accelerated. Low household consumption of food and eroded livelihoods expose people to increased health risks. While the impoverishment is exposing the poor more to the adverse impact of climate change, this also bars people from prioritizing their health. Besides highlighting the health impacts of these extreme climatic events, the paper analyzes the policies and interventions that aim to address the needs of people grappling with a complex combination of climate change, livelihood security, food security, health and development.

Keywords: Extreme Climatic Events, Food Security, Health Impacts, Bangladesh

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.37-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.318MB).

Fariba Alamgir

Senior Research Officer, Social and Behavioural Sciences Unit, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), Dhaka, Bangladesh

Fariba Alamgir has obtained her Masters in Anthropology from University of Dhaka. She is working with Social and Behavioral Sciences Unit at ICDDR,B as a Senior Research Officer.

Papreen Nahar

Assistant professor, Gender and Women studies, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), Dhaka, Bangladesh

Obtained Masters and PhD. in Medical Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam. She works as an assistant professor in Department of Gender and Women Studies at Dhaka University. She is also involved with the research project on health security and disaster resilience as a consultant of ICDDR, B.

Andrew E. Collins

Director, Disaster and Development Centre (DDC), School of Applied Sciences, Disaster and Development Centre (DDC), Northumbria University, UK

Andrew Collins is Director of the Disaster and Development Centre and Reader at Northumbria University, UK. His research examines varied links between disaster reduction and sustainable development including health and climate aspects.

Dr. Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett

Research Associate, School of Applied Sciences, Disaster and Development Centre (DDC), Northumbria University, UK

Nibedita S.Ray-Bennett has a PhD in Sociology from Warwick University. Currently, she is an ESRC Research Associate of the Disaster and Development Centre, Northumbria University. Her research interests include, Human and health security for disaster resilience, sociology of disasters and disaster risk reduction in the developing nations.

Abbas Bhuiya

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), Dhaka, Bangladesh

Social Scientist and Head, Social and Behavioural Sciences Unit, ICDDR, B, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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