COVID-19 and food security in Ethiopia: do social protection programs protect?

This paper assesses the impact of Ethiopia's flagship social protection program, the Productive Safety Net Program on the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food and nutrition security of households, mothers, and children. The analysis uses pre-pandemic, in-person household survey data and a post-pandemic phone survey. Two-thirds of the respondents reported that their incomes had fallen after the pandemic began, and almost half reported that their ability to satisfy their food needs had worsened. Employing a household fixed effects difference-in-difference approach, the study finds that household food insecurity increased by 11.7 percentage points and the size of the food gap by 0.47 months in the aftermath of the onset of the pandemic.