Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Keeping food and agricultural systems alive

COVID-19 will have a negative impact on food systems and will worsen the sub-Saharan negative trajectory towards the achievement of SDGs 1 and 2. COVID-19 will cause economic slowdowns or even recessions in many African countries, and this will exacerbate existing food insecurity and malnutrition. COVID-19 and its immediate control measures limit people’s ability to access a healthy diet in different ways, including through reduced income, increased job insecurity, and reduced availability of diverse foods. In addition, malnutrition increases vulnerability to diseases. The food and agricultural sector will experience impacts through illness-related labor shortages, transport, logistics and processing interruptions, quarantine measures limiting access to markets, and supply chain disruptions in addition to increased food loss and waste. As in any policy option, the principle of do no harm should be the overarching consideration.

Exposure of humans or animals to SARS-CoV-2 from wild, livestock, companion and aquatic animals

Understanding the risk of exposure of humans or animals to SARS-CoV-2 from animals and their products is essential for containing virus spread, prioritizing research, protecting food systems, and informing national One Health investigations and mitigation measures. This Qualitative Exposure Assessment provides a comprehensive review of available scientific evidence and assessment of exposure risk from different wild or domestic animal species. Results can inform country-level risk assessment and provide the evidence base for targeted SARS-CoV-2 investigations in animals and mitigation options.

COVID-19 and Food Safety: Guidance for competent authorities responsible for national food safety control systems

The guidance highlights temporary measures that can be introduced to contain widespread food safety risks and reduce serious disruption to national food safety programmes, aiming to ensure the effectiveness of a reduced food safety inspection programme during COVID-19 pandemic in mitigation the food safety risks.

Running farmer field schools in times of COVID-19: A resource handbook

This handbook provides guidance and suggestions to farmer field schools (FFS) facilitators, Master Trainers, project coordinators and rural advisors to run FFS activities and other agricultural trainings in times of COVID-19. It includes basic protective measures, important considerations, proposed FFS activities, links to WHO resources and videos and more. It was written with FFS activities in mind, but will also be useful for Extension and Advisory Services and anyone running agricultural field trainings.

Data resources and analysis to understand the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts

In order to provide useful information to countries on the impact of the COVID-19 on Statistics and the response being provided by FAO and the International statistical community, the Office of the Chief Statistician (OCS) has prepared this brochure that contains essential information and documentation on the latest available data and technical publications on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Targeted to data users, it contains a snapshot of some of the latest resources (links to websites, dashboards, publications and initiatives) to understand the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts. It covers the social and economic dimensions of the crisis, food security, labour and trade, among other topics. It will be continuously updated as more resources become available.

Interim guidance: sustaining FAO’s commitment to Environmental and Social Standards during the COVID-19 pandemic

FAO's Environmental and Social Standards (2015) ensure that FAO projects and programmes conform to sustainability criteria and mitigate potential adverse impacts to achieve expected outcomes. A COVID-19 outbreak in countries already affected by existing shocks, including political instability, conflict and natural disasters, could further exacerbate food insecurity. FAO has therefore proposed additional guidance to prevent and mitigate COVID-19 immediate impacts and support national, regional and local mandates in areas where FAO projects and programmes are in place.

Guidelines to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on livestock production and animal health

The purpose of these guidelines is to describe the impact of COVID-19 on livestock production and animal disease prevention and control, and to provide practical recommendations for actors along value chains to reduce this impact and ensure continuity of the livestock supply chain and animal health. The target beneficiaries of these guidelines are livestock value chain actors including livestock farmers, slaughterhouse workers, animal product processors, traders, animal health professionals and paraprofessionals, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders.

Food security under the COVID-19 pandemic

The document highlights the measures to confront the impact of the pandemic. The report points out that the main challenge in the short term is to guarantee the access to food, especially for those who have lost their source of income. The FAO report also recommends CELAC to reactivate its Food and Nutrition Security Plan (SAN CELAC Plan), adapting it to the new context, and to strengthen political agreements to boost food trade among CELAC countries.

Comparing crises: Great Lockdown versus Great Recession

A comparison of the Great Lockdown of 2020 underway with the Great Recession of 2009, reveals some regularities, yet many differences. Notably, the shock associated with the Great Recession arose out of economy-wide stress, particularly high-income countries, while in direct contrast, the Great Lockdown was borne outside of the global economic system, and seemingly is set to leave most countries severely affected, high and low-income countries alike. Both crises, however, have led to similar impacts to economies throughout the world, with significant contractions to economic growth, economic activity and employment.

COVID-19 and Food Safety: Guidance for food businesses : interim guidance

The world is facing an unprecedented threat from the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (referred to as the COVID-19 virus). The purpose of these guidelines is to highlight additional measures so that the integrity of the food chain is maintained, and that adequate and safe food supplies are available for consumers.

FAO's component of the Global COVID-19 Humanitarian Response Plan

The document presents FAO's component of the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Appeal, focusing on maintaining operations in food crisis contexts, anticipating the secondary impacts of the pandemic and related containment efforts on the world's most vulnerable people and sustaining critical food supply chains to avert future food crises.

Mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and nutrition of schoolchildren

This joint note from WFP, FAO and UNICEF intends to provide government decision makers, school administrators/staff and partners with preliminary guidance on how to support, transform or adapt school feeding (in the short term) to help safeguard schoolchildren’s food security and nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific recommendations are provided according to the various target groups involved in school feeding. An additional section is focused on the case of homegrown school feeding. This guidance note will be regularly updated as the situation evolves, and new information becomes available. It complements other guidance from specialized UN agencies, such as UNESCO, WHO and partners.

COVID-19: Channels of transmission to food and agriculture

FAO is analysing and providing updates on the emerging COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on agricultural markets—effects that are still largely unknown. Most current assessments generally foresee a contraction in both supply of and demand for agricultural products, and point to possible disruptions in trade and logistics.

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