Household-level Food Insecurity in Hunza Valley, Pakistan: An Experience-based and Psychosocial Assessment

  • Bushra Pervaiz Lahore Leads University
  • Mahboob Sultana
  • Muhammad Yaseen
  • Muhammad Qasim Manzoor
Keywords: Household Food Insecurity, Food Insecurity Access, HFIAS, Hunza Valley, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan


Food security is an important phenomenon especially when its measurement goes beyond mere availability of food to its affordability and assimilation. The instant study employed a direct measurement of food insecurity at the household level in Hunza Valley, Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Pakistan. The Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) which is an experience-based tool to measure food insecurity at household level was used with certain adaptations and additional modules of socio-economic parameters.  Primary data was collected on a structured questionnaire from 340 respondents during October to November, 2023. The representative sample was drawn by employing stratified random sampling technique to capture the difference in psychosocial assessment of food insecurity among population living in three distinctly separated locations of Hunza Valley i.e. Central Hunza, Lower Hunza and Upper Hunza. HFIAS was found to be a valid and consistent instrument for assessing the frequency and reliability of food accessibility in Hunza. It was observed that roughly four out of five households showed anxiety and uncertainty about food insecurity, and they were equally concerned about quality and quantity of food they consumed. Overall, 41.6% of households were food secure, 5.5% of households were mildly food insecure whereas 40.9% and 12.0% of households were found to be moderately food insecure and severely food insecure respectively. With respect to diversity of food insecurity, the Central Hunza was found to have better situation as compared with Lower Hunza and Upper Hunza.