Setting the stage to withstand the crisis

Besides supporting the diets of the social residential institution, the agricultural intervention yielded unexpected recreational results during the pandemic restrictions.

©FAO/Vlad Ushakov


An unprecedented public health emergency has baffled the entire world, reaching its most remote and isolated areas. In a matter of weeks, a new virus that knows no boundaries has put the whole world on a pause, closing borders, slowing down international trade, and disrupting food access. While too early to estimate all the consequences of the pandemic, measures to contain COVID-19 have already left their mark on global food security and agricultural production.

The situation is not exceptional in the Caucasus and Central Asia, where, for a large part of the population, agricultural production is the only source of food and income. The effects are, however, even more challenging for the vulnerable and rural poor, who, with a lasting crisis, may face food and nutrition insecurity and an elevated risk of poverty due to the abruptly lost sources of livelihoods.

As a result, countries started to look around for innovative approaches to protect the rural poor and most vulnerable, including the elderly and people with disabilities, who are frequently left behind in the immediate response efforts. What they found is that a pathway to assist these affected populations was already in existence and able to pass the challenges of COVID-19.

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