Pakistan: Year 3 Findings from the Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility Study
Mallah, H. B.
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Major shifts in food prices are significant events in people’s lives; in 2012 researchers at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex (IDS) and Oxfam started a four-year project to track the impacts of this volatility. This project, Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility, aims to monitor and record how Food Price Volatility (FPV) changes everyday life becauseso many of the social costs of managing change are invisible to policy makers. Nutritional or poverty measures may indicate that people living in poverty have coped well and appear to be ‘resilient’, but only because such measures often neglect the costs of this apparent resilience, including the increased time and effort required to feed and look after people; the non-monetary effects on family, social, or gender relations; mental health costs, such as stress; reductions in quality of life; and cultural issues, such as the pressure to eat ‘foreign’ fare, or food considered inferior. These issues tend to be neglected in nutrition and poverty impact studies, but they tend to matter a great deal to those affected.