At least 8% of Georgia’s high mountainous population experiences hunger, Oxfam‘s recent study revealed.
Oxfam is a UK-based international organization operating in 94 countries. Its primary focus is finding solutions to poverty in different parts of the world.
Oxfam Georgia conducted the First National Research on Food Security and Nutrition the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Range.
According to the study, at least 8% of Georgia’s high mountainous population experiences hunger. 43% of the respondents fear their access to food will be limited in near future due to lack of resources; 49% report having no access to nutritionally diversified or balanced diet.
While 25% of the high mountainous population in Georgia said they had to limit their daily ratio due to economic reasons. And 13% of the respondents said they often suffer from hunger.
The study covered three Georgian regions bordering with the Russian Federation, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Special emphasis was put on the villages located on the West of the Greater Caucasus range – Mestia and Oni Municipality; on the Eastern villages of the Greater Caucasus range – Kazbegi, Dusheti and Akhmeta municipalities and the villages located in the Lesser Caucasus mountains – Aspindza, Adigeni, Akhalkalaki, Dmanisi, Khulo, Qeda and Shuakhevi.
Mikhail Jibuti, a leading economist from Tbilisi State University, who participated in Oxfam’s study, says it’s the first qualitative study on food security among Georgia’s mountainous population. Survey participants were given 30 questions to evaluate their quality of life in terms of nutrition and food security.
Jibuti told CBW the results reveal a dire situation, however, there is no previous study to compare the data and see the dynamic, whether it has changed in the past years or not.
Levan Dadiani, representative of Oxfam in Georgia, who presented the initial results of the study on December 11, UN’s International Mountain Day, emphasized the need for a governmental program geared toward alleviating hunger in Georgia’s mountainous regions.
Dadiani says Georgia’s mountainous population’s troubles in regard of food security have to become one of the top priorities on the government’s agenda.
Currently, Oxfam Georgia is working toward establishing the International Caucasus Mountains Initiative (ICMI), a parallel to the Alpine Initiative.
The Initiative will serve as a solid foundation for peaceful coexistence among the Caucasus nations, according to Dadiani.