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Shocks and Coping Strategy

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Some events can trigger a decline in well-being, whether for individuals (illness, death) or affecting a wide area (natural disaster, macroeconomic crisis). The survey assessed respondents’ experience of such events or shocks.  Across provinces, high food prices were the most common shock that affected household in the one year period prior to the survey. Other shocks were more specific to a location. A reduced income was most frequently reported in Cotabato City (30%), Maguindanao (22%) and North Cotabato (17%). On the other hand, serious illnesses were most frequent in Lanao del Norte (25%).

Households that were displaced at the time of the survey were more likely to report experiencing a shock (95%), compared to those who returned home (90%), resettled elsewhere (81%) or were never displaced (84%). Households that were displaced at the time of the survey were more likely that the average household to report displacement as a shock (30% vs. 4% average), conflict (15% vs. 2% average), reduced income (25% vs.12% average) and lack of employment (20% vs. 12% average). High food prices remained the most frequent shock across settlement groups and were reported by 47 percent of those still displaced.

Table 6: Exposure to shocks in the last year prior to the survey

Table 6 -  Exposure to shocks in the last year prior to the survey

Exposure to shocks is frequently associated with food security. Households with a poor FCS were more likely to report having experienced a shock in the last 6 months prior to the survey (94%) compared to those with a borderline (88%) or acceptable (86%) FCS. While high prices remained the main shock reported among those with a poor FCS (41% compared to the average of 37%), those with poor food security were especially more likely to report floods (16% compared to a 10% average), lack of employment (21% compared to 11% average), and displacement (16% compared to 4% average).

Almost all the households who had experienced a shock mentioned it had had an impact on their ability to produce or purchase food, and that it created a loss or decrease of income. For over half the households it also affected their assets (56%).About the same proportion (58%) indicated that they had recovered from the shock. While the impact on food and income was widespread, assets were most frequently affected in Maguindanao (79%) and Lanao del Norte (78%). It is also in these two provinces that the lowest proportion of households said that they had recovered from the shocks (respectively 30% and 45%). Disaggregated by settlement status, households that were displaced at the time of the survey were the most likely to have lost assets (76%), and the least likely to have recovered (27%).

About all the households who reported having experienced a shock also reported using coping mechanisms in response to the shock. Relying on less preferred food (25%), borrowing money (24%) and borrowing food (15%) were the most commonly reported mechanisms. Using less preferred food and borrowing food was most frequently noted among displaced households (respectively 32% and 20%) and among households who resettled elsewhere (respectively 38% and 19%). Among households who returned home or were never displaced, borrowing money was a more frequent mechanism (28% and 24% respectively).