At their peak, the 1998 floods covered two-thirds of Bangladesh, causing severe damage to the major rice crop and threatening the food security of tens of millions of households. Ultimately, well-functioning private markets, suitable government policies, and public and NGO interventions combined with effective private coping strategies to prevent a major post-disaster crisis. In this paper, we highlight the contribution of government policy interventions, including an earlier trade liberalization, to stabilization of rice markets during and after the floods. Then, we examine the impacts of the floods on flood-exposed households using a panel data set covering 750 households in three rounds over a 13-month period, focusing on impacts of the flood on household assets, consumption, and nutritional outcomes. The study finds that private sector borrowing, a major household coping strategy, played a key role in helping households maintain consumption, but that long-term debts increased. Finally, based on an econometric analysis of household food consumption, we present empirical estimates of the contribution of rice market stabilization to household food security.


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