Prevalence and socioeconomic determinants of food insecurity among Venezuelan migrant and refugee urban households in Peru

Akram Hernández-Vásquez, Rodrigo Vargas-Fernández, Fabriccio J. Visconti-Lopez, Juan Pablo Aparco

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Introduction: Food insecurity (FI) is a public health problem affecting many regions of the world. In Venezuela, the political, social and economic situation experienced since 2010 has caused a mass migration of its population to other countries, including Peru, which, in turn, may have limited access to and availability of food leading to a high nutritional burden in this population. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and analyze the determinants of FI in the households of Venezuelan immigrants in Peru. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using the “Encuesta Dirigida a la Población Venezolana que Reside en el País” (ENPOVE 2022). The dependent variable was moderate–severe FI (yes/no), which was constructed from an eight-item Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) to measure FI at the household level. Poisson log generalized linear regression models were fitted to assess the association between the independent variables and FI. In addition, the reliability of the FIES as a tool for measuring food insecurity in the target population was determined. Results: A total of 3,491 households with Venezuelan migrants and refugees were included in the analysis. We found that 39.0% of Venezuelan immigrant households in Peru experienced moderate–severe FI. The determinants of FI included socio-demographic characteristics of the household head, and economic and geographical characteristics of the household. Regarding the FIES, we found that the inclusion of 7 of the 8 items had adequate internal consistency and its items assessed the same latent range. Discussion: This study highlights the need to identify determinants associated with FI to design strategies that mitigate the consequences of health crises and strengthen regional food systems, making them more sustainable. Although several studies have evaluated the prevalence of FI in Venezuelan migrant populations in other countries, this study is the first to evaluate the determinants of FI in Venezuelan immigrant households in Peru.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1187221
Pages (from-to)1187221
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
StatePublished - 2023


  • Peru
  • Venezuela
  • cross-sectional studies
  • emigrants and immigrants
  • food insecurity
  • prevalence
  • refugees


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