Food and Nutrition Security as Affected by Cascading Crises caused by the Interplay of Conflict, Pandemic and Disasters: A West Timor Story

Jonatan Lassa, John Talan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


When trying to understand how marginal communities survived the Pandemic during 2020-2022, researchers often ignore the scars they had in their lifetimes till the day Covid-19 marked new scars in their lives. We decided not to ignore their experience from the past. Instead, we focus on their past crisis and experience to help shape their vulnerability and resilience during new crises. This Chapter focuses on understanding how Covid-19 interacts with cyclones, floods, and devastating biosecurity crises combined with the residue of conflicts that compromise food security and exacerbate stunting conditions in a vulnerable community in West Timor. This Chapter offers the opportunity for the readers to see the world from the life history and lived experience of a survivor of multiple crises and residual risks from the past that continue to shape the subject’s coping and adaptive capacity to shocks. The subject has been part of an uprooted community after the separation of Timor Leste from Indonesia since 1999 who survived Covid-19 (2020-2022) and Cyclone Seroja (2021) due to a mixture of personal decision to adjust consumption, diversify livelihoods and access to social protection and to a lesser extend maintained social capital. The Chapter concludes that despite the significance of the COVID-19 crisis, the at-risk communities perceived that their lives have been through the worse disasters. Despite all the shocks, social capital remains vital despite proving fragile during the protracted crisis. The community were able to cope with the multi-crisis ranging from Covid-19, Cyclone Seroja, African Swine Fever and existing climate stresses. Diversification of food entitlements ranging from production, social transfers and protection has been critical to their survival from potential famine. However, malnutrition, especially stunting among children, remains an issue during Covid-19.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFood Security Issues in Asia
EditorsPaul Teng
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9789811278303
ISBN (Print)9789811278280
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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