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The impact of socio-economic, geography and cultural factors on household food insecurity of Syrian refugees: a comprehensive study after resettlement in Canada

Syrian children eating bread in a refugee camp

Photo credit: AFP Contributor

The proposed study will build on our previous experience examining the food security status of refugees by focusing on Syrian refugees settled in Francophone and Anglophone rural and urban areas. This comprehensive view builds on our initial SSHRC-funded project investigating Syrian refugees’ food security in Saskatoon (a small urban area) and Toronto (a large urban area). In this study, we will investigate the impact of resettlement in rural and urban areas in different provinces. Our overarching goal is to understand the impact of socioeconomic and cultural factors on household food insecurity and enhance the capacity of refugee support systems to address the food needs of Syrian refugee families to improve their food security status. We will focus on three key elements of that support system: i) the formal governmental agencies; ii) the support provided by private sponsorships, friends, and acquaintances; and iii) the support provided by agencies such as food banks and other community-based organizations. By the end of the project, our research team and stakeholders from the relevant governmental and non-governmental agencies will draft recommendations that address the socioeconomic and cultural barriers identified as leading to household food insecurity among Syrian refugees resettling in Canada.


Hassanali Vatanparast, University of Saskatchewan
Malek Batal, Université de Montréal
Rachel Engler-Stringer, University of Saskatchewan
Marwa Farag, University of Saskatchewan
Joseph Garcea, University of Saskatchewan
Mustafa Koc, Toronto Metropolitan University
Tamer M.H. Qarmout, University of Saskatchewan
Louise Racine, University of Saskatchewan
Judy White, University of Regina
Esperanza Diaz, University of Bergen
Romaina Iqbal, Aga Khan University



SSHRC Insight Grant
October 2016 Competition $189,815

Project dates