Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Country profiles

The European Union
Co-financed by the European Union

This series of country profiles describe how countries have reacted to COVID-19 and specifically: (i) measures enacted by governments to contain the spread of the virus; (ii) policies to stabilize the functioning of agri-food systems; (iii) potential effects of policies on agri-food systems and vulnerable groups. Finally, they also assess longer-term options for agri-food system policies and investments so as to make them more resilient. 

The series has been produced by the network of policy officers of the Food and nutrition security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) Programme, in close collaboration with country governments, FAO representations and European Union Delegations. In some countries, FIRST has joined forces with the Global Network against Food Crises.

National agrifood systems and COVID-19 in Uganda

The Government of Uganda has established a national incident management structure under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to provide a coordinated response to the COVID-19 crisis. While the central government has demonstrated its capacity to lead the fight against the pandemic, local governments have demonstrated limited capacity to effectively respond to the COVID-19 outbreak; this prompted the central government to take on most of the responsibility for managing the spread of the disease and providing key services. There are growing concerns that the centralization of most activities related to the management of COVID-19 may limit future capacity development efforts at the local government level.

National agrifood systems and COVID-19 in Sierra Leone

The Republic of Sierra Leone reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on 31 March 2020. Although this was later than many countries in the region, the number of cases and deaths in the country have risen since then. As of 28 August 2020, there were a total of 2 013 confirmed cases, with 70 deaths and 1 581 recoveries. Cases have now been reported in 14 districts outside of the Western Area. The fatality rate has been high relative to other countries in the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) region.

Since the pandemic began, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has implemented several policies and measures designed to curb the spread of the disease. At the time of writing, all measures are still in place except where explicitly noted (IMF, 2020a; OECD, 2020).

National agrifood systems and COVID-19 in Malawi

Malawi acted early,declaring a national emergency on 20 March 2020, before the first case was officially reported on 2 April. One of the last countries in Africa to confirm the presence of the disease, Malawi followed the precedent set other countries by implementing early containment measures after only four cases had been reported; these included physical distancing, hygiene and sanitation, school closures, closing the airspace to passenger flights, allowing restaurants to offer take away service only.

Malawi held a presidential election in June and, in August, the new administration updated the previously gazetted containment measures to allow the imposition of a lockdown if necessary (Republic of Malawi, 2020).

Systèmes agroalimentaires nationaux et la covid-19 au Niger

Dès le 13 mars, au regard de la vitesse de propagation de la maladie dans le monde et de la faiblesse des systèmes de santé à y faire face, le Gouvernement de la République du Niger a jugé impérieux d’être proactif et de ne pas attendre que la maladie s’installe et se diffuse pour agir. Aussi, le Gouvernement a-t-il décidé de prendre les mesures préventives suivantes:

  • annulation de tous les évènements internationaux programmés pour se tenir au Niger;

  • confinement pendant 14 jours de toute personne venant d’un pays où sévit l’épidémie;

  • interdictiondetouslesregroupementsnotammentàcaractèrepolitique,sportifetculturel susceptibles de réunir au moins 1 000 personnes;

  • éviter de voyager dans les pays où sévit l’épidémie;

  • forte recommandation pour que les cérémonies festives soient organisées le plus simplement possible, en évitant au maximum les regroupements et de même pour les deuils.

National agrifood systems and COVID-19 in Liberia

When the pandemic began, the National Incident Management System (IMS) was activated under the central command of the MoH. Immediately after detecting the index case, the government declared a health emergency. The MoA called an emergency meeting of the Agriculture Donor Working Group, requested the establishment of a food security cluster and drafted an emergency food security plan. FAO supported the preparation of the plan. A Special Presidential Advisory Committee on Corona Virus (SPACO) was established in February, under the chairmanship of the President. On 7 April, an Executive Committee on Corona Virus (ECOC) was established as the operational arm of the SPACO. Health experts, cabinet officials and members of the international and donor communities support these bodies; their responsibilities include helping to contain the virus and ease its impact on livelihoods and the economy.

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