Updated: May 14, 2021
We integrate long-term observations of rainfall and large-scale national household surveys of nutritional and socio-economic status to demonstrate how the spatial distribution of households, and the relative sensitivity of their livelihood activity to climate shocks, affect food insecurity. We conducted a cluster analysis of three variables, namely the Food Consumption Score, the Food Expenditure Share and the Reduced Coping Strategies Index, used by the World Food Programme 1) to classify households into categories, and spatially locate less and more food secure households; and 2) to discuss the response of each category of household to seasonality and variability in climate (Ilboudo Nébié, Ba and Giannini 2021). Differently from findings that households are more vulnerable to food insecurity in places recording poor rainfall, in Senegal, the climatologically wetter south and east of the country are less food secure, compared to the drier west-central and north. Consequently, it is the sensitivity of livelihoods to climate, rather than exposure to climate itself, as illustrated by long-term mean rainfall and annual variation, that explains spatial variation in food security (Giannini, Ilboudo Nébié, Ba and Ndiaye in prep.).