Food Insecurity among International Migrants during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2023, 20 (7), 5273. 10.3390/ijerph20075273
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the measures imposed to control it have impacted food security globally, particularly among vulnerable populations. Food insecurity, in turn, has repercussions on health, exacerbating pre-existing inequalities. This scoping review maps the literature describing associations between the COVID-19 pandemic and food insecurity among migrants, with a particular view toward health. A total of 909 papers were extracted through four electronic databases, and 46 studies were included. The migrant populations described originated mainly from Latin America (11/46) and were located in North America (21/46). Most studies included refugees and asylum seekers (20/46). The main challenges described were financial hardship (28/46), the effect of migrants’ documentation status on using public food aid (13/46), and the suspension of or reduction in humanitarian assistance due to the economic recession (7/46). The impact of food insecurity on migrants’ mental and physical health was described in 26 of the 46 studies. Authorities in all destination countries should focus their attention and efforts into ensuring nutrition security for migrants in a holistic way, including their economic and legal integration, to be better prepared for health crises in the future.