Climate change and food security: health risks and vulnerability of the poor in Bangladesh

2009, Alamgir, F, The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses. 1 (4)


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.

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