Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Policy briefs

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting not only food trade, food supply chains and markets but also people’s lives, livelihoods and nutrition.

This collection of policy briefs presents a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the pandemic’s impacts on these areas.

Briefs are released on a day-to-day basis. Please check back frequently for the latest available briefs.

For media queries on any of the below topics, please contact [email protected]

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Safeguarding input supply chains for small-scale agricultural producers in the context of COVID-19 in Africa

The African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) indicates that 52 AU Member States had reported positive cases of COVID-19 as of 7 April 2020. Consequently, governments have rapidly put in place measures to control the spread of the pandemic. Some of these measures are not fully aligned with those of neighbouring countries which could have implications for containment of COVID-19, as well as food security across the region. In addition, many of these measures could have adverse implications in terms of agri- food value chains and flows especially for the poor and vulnerable populations.

Increasing the resilience of the food system and agricultural livelihoods to COVID-19

This topic addresses the resilience of agricultural livelihoods and the food system to COVID-19. Lessons learned by those who have had to manage disasters indicate that it is critical to understand, monitor, and anticipate the impacts of crises on agriculture and agricultural livelihoods early on. Timely and accurate monitoring enables evidence-based policy decisions to be made; acting in advance enables unwanted impacts on food security and nutrition to be avoided. Managing this crisis requires a targeted and concrete — yet holistic — approach focused on ensuring availability, and stabilizing access to food.

Preserving African food value chains in the midst of the coronavirus crisis

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.

Contact person: Louis Bockel, FAO Policy Support Economist for Africa

Analysis and responses of Latin America and the Caribbean to the effects of COVID-19 on food system

This bulletin provides decision-makers in government, the private sector and civil society with useful information and resources to support the design and implementation of actions to combat the effects of the pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean. The resources and information contained in the bulletin are provided by FAO, as well as governments and other institutions that are contributing to the common objective of containing the effects of the pandemic. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) is a valuable partner in this regard, and it is hoped that other multilateral organizations will contribute to future editions.

How is COVID-19 affecting the fisheries and aquaculture food systems

The full range of activities required to deliver fish and fish products from production to the final consumer is subject to indirect impacts of the pandemic through new sanitary measures, changing consumer demands, market access or logistical problems related to transportation and border restrictions. This in turn has a damaging effect on fishers and fish farmers’ livelihoods, as well as on food security and nutrition for populations that rely heavily on fish for animal protein and essential micronutrients.

This policy brief reviews on going challenges and proposes measures to protect production and income of the sector and the most vulnerable, as well as maintain operations and support the supply chain.

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