Returning Home after Civil War: Food Security and Nutrition among Burundian Households
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This paper investigates the food security and nutritional status of formerly displaced households (HHs). Using the 2006 Core Welfare Indicator Survey for Burundi we compare their food intake and their level of expenses with that of their non-displaced neighbours. We test whether it is the duration of displacement that matters for current food security and nutritional status or the time lapsed since returning home. We use log-linear as well as propensity score matching and an instrumental variable-approach to control for self-selection bias. We find that the individuals and HHs who returned home just before the time of the survey are worse off compared to those who returned several years earlier. On average, the formerly displaced have 5 per cent lower food expenses and 6 per cent lower calorie intake. Moreover, we find evidence in favour of duration of displacement as the main mechanisms through which displacement affects HH welfare. Results are robust after controlling for self-selection bias. Despite international, government and NGO assistance, the welfare of recent returnees is lagging seriously behind in comparison with the local non-displaced populations.