Food insecurity in Piura, Peru, in the context of post-earthquake and the COVID-19 pandemic

Mario J. Valladares-Garrido, Luis E. Zapata-Castro, Abigaíl García-Vicente, Darwin A. León-Figueroa, Yanela Huamani-Colquichagua, Mariana Huaman-Garcia, Raul E. Calle-Preciado, Danai Valladares-Garrido, Cristian Díaz-Vélez, Virgilio E. Failoc-Rojas*, Víctor J. Vera-Ponce, César Johan Pereira-Victorio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Piura, located in a seismic zone, faces challenges related to food security. The aim of this study was to analyze aspects related to food insecurity in the region following the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that occurred in 2021, within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A secondary analysis was performed in 177 people exposed to the earthquake in Piura. Food insecurity was assessed with the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale. Its association with insomnia, resilience, anxiety/depressive symptoms, and general variables were determined using generalized linear models. Results: Food insecurity was observed in 31.1% (95% CI: 24.3–38.4) of participants. This prevalence was higher in people with mild (PR: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.12–2.70) and moderate (PR: 1.55, 95% CI: 1.09–2.22) anxiety symptoms, severe depressive symptoms (PR: 2.74, 95% CI: 1.24–6.03), and previous exposure to the El Niño Phenomenon (PR: 1.72; 95% CI: 1.06–2.81). An income higher than 5000 Peruvian soles (approximately 1300 US dollars) was associated with a lower prevalence of food insecurity (PR: 0.22, 95% CI: 0.13–0.40). Conclusions: Overall, three out of 10 individuals experienced food insecurity after the 2021 earthquake in Piura. Food insecurity may be aggravated by mental disorders, previous exposure to the El Niño phenomenon, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study contributes to the field by exploring a range of variables related to food insecurity in a unique context: post-earthquake and during the COVID-19 health emergency in Peru. These findings enhance our understanding of food insecurity at the regional level and highlight the need for preventive food security programs in seismic events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1142550
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
StatePublished - 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Peru
  • earthquake
  • food insecurity
  • food supply
  • hunger
  • poverty


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