Bureau régional de la FAO pour l'Afrique

Publications

Abstract: This situation report is a consolidation of information on food system disruptions in Africa due to COVID-19 for the period of 1–15 July 2020. As a collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the University of Minnesota – Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative, the information in this report is collected by scanning and analyzing public, open-source information.
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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. In Africa, the impact of COVID-19 will be unique and likely worse given the economic situation of the...
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African migrants stimulate economic growth and development in areas of destination, transit and origin through their labour, skills transfer, consumption and investments. Their remittances also make significant contributions to food security, human capital, rural development and overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in areas of origin. The impact of COVID-19 affects migrant workers disproportionally. Often precarious working conditions and overcrowded living and transport arrangements increase their vulnerability to contagion and loss of employment, threatening their health and livelihoods. Those working under informal arrangements, commonly in the agriculture sector, are largely excluded from accessing real-time reliable information, social protection, healthcare and government response measures.Urban-to-rural return migration increases due to lockdowns and job losses in cities. This context poses challenges and opportunities in rural sectors, while many return migrants face stigmatization as potential carriers of the virus. A 23 percent decline in remittances flow into sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), as a result of economic downturns,...
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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, young entrepreneurs in agrifood systems in sub-Saharan Africa were already facing a number of challenges. The main challenges include limited access to natural resources, finance, technology, knowledge and information, and insufficient participation in policy dialogues and other decision-making processes. The COVID-19 pandemic and its disruptions to agricultural value chains are presenting additional hurdles for these agripreneurs. Without focused and appropriately designed response interventions addressing their specific constraints and contexts, it is increasingly observed that some of the policy responses and measures put in place by governments to halt the spread of the virus are exacerbating the existing challenges that the youth are facing in engaging in agrifood systems.For example, several formal and informal micro, small and medium-sized agribusinesses that employ many young people, have been forced to close or downscale significantly as a result of lockdowns and movement restrictions at national and local levels.FAO, together with...
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In light of the uncertainties surrounding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, policy makers must ensure that national responses to the virus do not trigger a food crisis. The Covid-19 outbreak can shift the balance between food demand and supply, especially considering many countries having declared lockdowns and their borders closed. Countries at the highest risk of suffering from a potential food crisis sparked off from the pandemic, are those in Africa. The following note elucidates how the current Covid-19 pandemic is affecting food security in Africa and some key African value chains (i.e. rice, maize, cashew etc.). This note also offers solutions for short run and long run food security issues that may unfold as a consequence of the pandemic, to support informed policy decision making.
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