COVID-19 | 2020 humanitarian response

COVID-19 | 2020 humanitarian response

17/08/2020

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

The world is standing on the precipice of the greatest food crisis in generations. Worldwide, people and their communities are reeling from the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which extend far beyond the direct health impacts. 

Food systems have been disrupted, informal employment all but stopped for millions, markets have closed and remittances have dried up and the most vulnerable have found themselves struggling to access sufficient food. Increasingly, as smallholders are unable to access the critical inputs they need to continue producing, food availability is emerging as a major concern.

Mitigating the effects of COVID-19 to protect food security and livelihoods

Responding to these challenges requires urgent action at scale. Critical agricultural seasons, livestock movements for pasture and water, food harvesting, processing and storage – these are not activities that can be put on hold as we tackle the health impacts of the pandemic. Without support, increasing numbers of people will be forced to abandon their livelihoods and rely on much more costly food assistance to survive.

Anticipatory action now is not just more cost effective than waiting to rebuild livelihoods and communities later, it is more humane and respectful of the dignity of the billions of people relying on some form of agriculture for their livelihoods. This is at the heart of FAO’s response to the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For 2020, FAO requires an additional USD 428 million to help countries address the impacts of COVID-19 in food crises in 34 countries. 

FAO’s programme focuses on four key components to save lives and livelihoods threatened by the pandemic:

Component 1. Rolling out data collection and analysis

Component 2. Ensuring availability of and stabilizing access to food for the most acutely food-insecure populations

Component 3. Ensuring continuity of the critical food supply chain for the most vulnerable populations

Component 4. Ensuring food supply chain actors are not at risk of virus transmission

More on FAO's 2020 humanitarian response: Overview [PDF] 

Protecting and rebuilding livelihoods cannot wait until a later date. It must be placed at the core of the COVID-19 response, today.

Learn more about what FAO is doing with regard to the current pandemic