The report contains the outcome of activities carried out in China to assist WFP China Office and IFAD in gaining a better understanding of food security situation in the country. The report was expected to plan the efforts of both agencies and improve the implementation of their joint development programmes.

As vulnerability is a function of exposure to risk and of the population’s inability to cope with such risk, the analysis has focused on the identification of the most vulnerable areas and the causes of their vulnerability through the description of districts profiles. 

The provincial analysis was limited by types of data and their availability.  Several factors of risk have been identified including natural disasters, agricultural production variability and crop performances.  The ability of the rural population to cope has been analysed in terms of socio-economic security.

The report is supported by the compilation of an extensive  “China Province Reference Database for Vulnerability Analysis”;

The analysis partially confirms the results of previous analyses and in some cases do not.  In particular:

•The South-west and part of the West are still affected by a rather composite vulnerability pattern which requires particular attention and specific food policy strategies.   Not only Yunnan, Qinghai, and Xinjiang but also Hainan, Shaanxi, Ningxia and Gansu must be included in a target list of specific areas. 

•Sichuan and Tibet also need special attention.

•Crop composition and dietary patterns frequently dictate particular vulnerability profiles in several parts of China and in particular in the northern areas of the country, including North-east.

•There are still significant pockets of vulnerability in Anhui, Hubei and Guizhou provinces.   A more detailed and local understanding is necessary to formulate realistic objectives for appropriate areas before any kind of intervention. 

•The Coastal areas, in spite of higher living standards, are still characterized by several vulnerable pockets which probably require more attention and less optimism based on the assumption that development will soon speed up in these areas.