Emma Martinez, “Impacts of Food Security: A Study on the Refugee Population in Malawi”
Mentor: Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu, Nursing
Food insecurity remains a major health determinant among refugee populations in Malawi. It is important to understand the adverse experiences that result from limited food supply and food insecurity for people living in low-income countries. The Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi houses approximately 38,000 refugees who rely on food assistance during their stay. Refugees desire the right to work and to meet their own basic needs. Socially and politically empowered gender roles, however, influence food production and therefore food security. The purpose of this literature review was to explore the hypothesis that empowering and educating women and children will improve food security in refugee camps, as well as, throughout the country. Resources utilized were UWM libraries data base and various organizations addressing agricultural issues in African countries including World Food program, United Nations, National Geographic, and UNHCR. Key words searched were refugees, food insecurity, income, food aid, malnutrition, agriculture, and women and children refugees. Abstracts and conclusions were used to select articles for inclusion. Data extraction included information to understand gender roles and the impact of food insecurity in refugee populations in Malawi. The literature identified that socially and politically empowered gender roles influence food production and food security in Malawi, including the refugee population. Empowering and educating women and children improves food security, as well as decreases gender-based violence, childhood marriages, and halted education. The information obtained from this literature review, supports that educating women and children in refugee camps about sustainable agricultural practices and best business practices will enable refugee women and their families to attain improved health determinants. Women and children are often the most vulnerable in Malawi. When we educate women and children on sustainable agriculture practices, they are more likely to feed not only themselves, but their families, communities, and the rest of the country.
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