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The impact of socio-economic and cultural factors on household food security of Syrian refugees in Canada

Syrian women cooking together

Photo credit: Mandy Sham, Culinary Backstreets

The goal of this project was to assess the impact of socioeconomic and cultural factors on household food security of Syrian refugees during this critical early integration period. Results from the study can help alleviate the barriers to food security for this newly arrived cohort by improving refugee resettlement and immigration policies, programs, and services. The key research objectives were: 1) To determine household food security status of Syrian refugees (before and after arrival to Canada) and compare status with the general Canadian population and other at-risk sub-populations; 2) To compare the similarities and differences in food security status of Syrian refugees across the three major Canadian refugee resettlement programs, i.e., government-assisted refugees (GAR), privately sponsored refugees (PSR), and blended visa office referred (BVOR). 3) To characterize the socioeconomic and education status of Syrian refugees and the role of these factors on food security status; 4) To identify the socio-economic and cultural barriers to food security status for Syrian refugees; 5) To investigate the implications of gender both on the level of food security, and the management of challenges in food security faced by Syrian refugee families; 6) To evaluate the capacity of refugee support system in addressing the food needs of Syrian refugee families.


Hassan Vatanparast (PI), University of Saskatchewan
Carol Henry, University of Saskatchewan
Joseph Garcea, University of Saskatchewan
Judy White, University of Regina
Kaye Mehta, Flinders University, South Australia;
Louise Racine, University of Saskatchewan
Marwa Farag, University of Saskatchewan
Mustafa Koc, Toronto Metropolitan University
Rachel Engler-Stringer, University of Saskatchewan
Romaina Iqbal, Aga Khan University
Tamer Qarmout, University of Saskatchewan



SSHRC Targeted Research: Syrian Refugee Arrival, Resettlement and Integration, 25,000

Project dates