SARS-CoV-2 in animals used for fur farming. GLEWS+ Risk assessment (20 January 2021)

This Tripartite Risk Assessment, as a joint effort under the GLEWS+ initiative, evaluates the risk of introduction and spread of SARS-CoV-2 within fur farming systems as well as whether farmed fur animals could play a significant role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to humans via spillover. Additionally, using a One Health approach, the Tripartite evaluated the risk of the escaped minks leading to the establishment of a viral reservoir in susceptible wildlife populations. This work provides guidance to Members on this newly emerging threat.

The impact of COVID-19 on fisheries and aquaculture food systems, possible responses

The purpose of this information paper is to update information on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the fisheries and aquaculture sector and the measures taken, to inform on the ongoing impact on the fisheries and aquaculture food systems, and responses from seafood providers and governments to counteract the negative impacts on seafood chains.

How to feed the world in times of pandemics and climate change?

The 13th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in 2021 is seeking recommendations, guided by four questions about “How to Feed the World in Times of Pandemics and Climate Change?”: 1) How can food systems emerge strengthened from the COVID-19 pandemic? 2) How can the agricultural sector contribute to preventing further pandemics? 3) How can food systems become more climate-resilient? 4) How can food systems contribute to climate change mitigation better than before? In this brief, the four questions posed by the GFFA are addressed from the perspective of livestock systems. 

Digital finance and inclusion in the time of COVID-19

The aim of this study is to illustrate the opportunities and risks associated with the surge in uptake and use of digital financial service, providing ideas on how to leverage the paradigm changes affecting the overall approach and perspective towards digital financial services – on the part of various stakeholders – to advance financial inclusion and development. It also seeks to showcase how digital financial services have been used – in both traditional and innovative ways – to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on economies and societies, by both public and private actors.

Series The agrifood system and the challenges of COVID-19: Differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and its connection to the pillars of the agrifood system

The objective of the text is to reflect on the current scenario faced by the most vulnerable women, and the measures that must be implemented to reduce their impacts. In addition, an analysis of the current situation of rural women is made, in qualitative terms. Finally, some of the public policy measures that are being taken by the states of the region to address the challenges described are described.

Series The agrifood system and the challenges of COVID-19: Characteristics and determining factors of consumer food preferences in Latin America and the Caribbean: COVID-19 challenge

The objective of the text is to present the available evidence about consumption and food preferences, in the context of overweight and obesity, based on findings in seven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. A description of the determinants of food preferences and consumption is made, in addition to some of the public policies implemented to influence these determinants. Finally, general reflections are presented from the cases analyzed and the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Smart irrigation – Smart wash: Solutions in response to the pandemic crisis in Africa

Expanding irrigation could impact the availability of water for sanitation and hygiene which has a central role in slowing down the spread of the disease. It is, thus, clearer that irrigation development should also comply with the requirement of extended need of water for sanitation and hygiene. Developing multiple water use would certainly allow to fight the pandemic while ensuring the basic needs of food security in rural communities.

The COVID-19 challenge: Zoonotic diseases and wildlife

In this document, the Members of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW) propose four guiding principles to assist practitioners and decision-makers in making practical and scientifically informed responses. These principles aim to reduce the risk of future pandemics originating from wild animals, at the same time as strengthening the conservation of wildlife whilst respecting livelihoods, food security and culture of diverse groups of people.

FAO COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme

The COVID-19 pandemic is jeopardizing human health and disrupting the food systems that are the foundations of health. Unless we take immediate action, we could face a global food emergency of severity and scale unseen for more than half a century. FAO is calling for USD 1.2 billion in initial investments to finance FAO’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme that aims to provide an agile and coordinated global response to ensure nutritious food for all both during and after the pandemic.

FAO COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme - Global Humanitarian Response Plan

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest global shocks in generations. The situation will be most acute in countries already experiencing food crises or those that are extremely vulnerable to shocks. Last year, 135 million people experienced crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity, of whom 27 million were in emergency conditions. For these populations, the impacts of COVID-19 could be catastrophic. As the pandemic progresses in food crisis contexts, there is a real concern about the growing risk of famine.

FAO COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme - Data for decision-making

CThe COVID-19 health crisis is having wide-reaching effects on all parts of society, including on food systems, livelihoods and food security. Timely and reliable information is essential to anticipate and mitigate its negative impacts, in particular, to identify those areas where the pandemic is generating new and unprecedented stress. Traditionally food insecurity hotspots in emergency contexts are most affected, also due to difficulties in supplying humanitarian assistance. In addition, depending on the response to the pandemic, new pockets of food insecurity may appear, even in countries and populations that have not previously been the focus of food security crises.

FAO COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme - Economic inclusion and social protection to reduce poverty

The COVID-19 pandemic is, directly and indirectly, impacting health and well-being around the globe. Illness and containment measures are compounding the social and economic disadvantages of the most vulnerable in society. These social and economic impacts stand to cause devastating setbacks to efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Pervasive inequalities between rural and urban inhabitants, rich and poor, women and men will exacerbate these effects. People in areas impacted by severe climate change, conflict, forced displacement, and migration will be even more vulnerable.

FAO COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme - Boosting smallholder resilience for recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic is having devastating short- and long-term impacts on the lives and livelihoods of people in rural, peri-urban and urban settings. Apart from the pandemic’s toll on human health and everyday life, containment measures, particulary the restricted movement of people and goods, are resulting in a dramatic increase in poverty, destroying livelihoods and increasing food insecurity. The magnitude of the impact of COVID-19 has reinforced the need for global collaboration in terms of managing risks and crises, anticipating threats, coordinating responses and resilience building ahead of future crises.

FAO COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme - Preventing the next zoonotic pandemic

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) originated from an animal source, as have an estimated 60 percent of human infectious diseases. The pandemic emphasizes the need to prepare for, prevent, detect and respond to such diseases in areas where the next pandemic is likely to take hold. The risk is highest where there is close interaction between wildlife and intensifying livestock or agricultural production, and is often exacerbated where agriculture has encroached upon or put pressure on natural ecosystems. Particularly risky “spillover settings” include live animal markets and regions where there is a rise in wild meat consumption. The general overuse of antimicrobial drugs has caused a surge in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), adding to the risk of new or untreatable diseases.

FAO COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme - Food systems transformation

The disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 crisis have highlighted many of the fragilities of contemporary food systems. Challenges include accessing safe, nutritious food at affordable prices when movement is restricted and markets are closed, and the vulnerability of employees (in terms of health and income) across the food system. There are risks to the very survival of firms and industries, particularly micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, from producers, manufacturers, traders and food processors to transporters and retailers.

Cities and local governments at the forefront in building inclusive and resilient food systems

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting urban food systems worldwide, affecting the food security and nutrition of urban populations. With up to 70% of the global food supply destined for urban consumption, the disruption of urban food systems has particularly affected the food distribution and the food retail sectors. The management of the crisis by city and local governments can therefore play a major role in preventing the spread of the virus and, at the same time, in mitigating the disruptions in their food systems and any negative effects on vulnerable populations. It was consequently deemed very important for FAO to map the municipal responses to the emergency, and to analyze progress and setbacks in managing disruptions in the urban food systems and related implications for food security and nutrition. Such understanding will strengthen the evidence-base on which countries will build policies and programmes dealing with the crisis and its effects. It will also provide valuable information on how to strengthen the performance and resilience of urban food systems.

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.