Preparing and Recovering for COVID-19’s Impacts on Food Security and Nutrition

“Without food, there is no health and without women, there is no food,” said Jessie Thomson of CARE Canada as she summarized key takeaway messages from the speakers.


The COVID-19 pandemic will have significant medium- and long-term impacts on global food and nutrition security, livelihoods, climate resilience, gender equality, trade, and social stability. In order to share Canadian perspectives on the response to the anticipated impact of the pandemic on food security and nutrition, FAO North America and CARE Canada co-hosted a webinar moderated by Gregory Spira, Head of Food Systems and Resilience Programs, CARE Canada.

“COVID-19 is far more than a health crisis, and affects women and men differently,” said Jessie Thomson, Vice President, International Programs at CARE Canada who launched the discussion. She highlighted the latest CARE Policy Brief, COVID19, Food & Nutrition Security, and Gender Equality, which warns that women are more susceptible to the food security and nutrition impacts of COVID-19 as women and girls already make up 60 percent of hungry people and 76 percent of displaced people worldwide.

“Over the years, Canada has played an extremely important role within FAO. We have strongly valued its leadership and support always and especially today when the world navigates in such turbulent waters,” said Vimlendra Sharan, Director of FAO North America in his welcoming remarks.

“The combination of COVID-19 and lockdowns could drive up to 420 million people into absolute poverty,” warned Sharan. “Given the intrinsic link between poverty, food security and nutrition, governments must initiate immediate action as even short-term disruptions in provisioning adequate and nutritious food could have long-lasting impacts on survival, health and development.”

The Hon. Mike Lake, Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin and Conservative Shadow Minister for International Development joined the webinar and called upon Parliamentarians to find common ground to address the challenges of poverty and food insecurity, in Canada and abroad.  He also emphasized that sharing success stories of international development is key to helping governments create initiatives like the G8 Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

Learn more