Impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on household food security in rural Bihar

  • Based on a survey conducted in rural Bihar, this study aims to provide evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on food and nutrition security by focusing on rural vulnerable households.
  • The study shows that food insecurity of rural Bihar’s households increased significantly since the pandemic, and the severity of the impact felt when compared to the diverse marginal groups has been different.
  • The study reports that since the lockdown period, the number of meals consumed by adult women and children per day was reduced from the usual 3 and more-than-3 meals norm. In contrast, there has been no change in the per day number of meals consumed by adult men.
  • The study also documented the different impact of COVID-19 on the life and livelihoods of casual wage dependent households and migrant households when compared to regular wage and salaried households.
  • The findings of the study point to the public policy imperative to carry out direct cash transfer to beneficiaries’ accounts in case of public safety net schemes where beneficiaries missed receiving food.