Food for the cities programme

COVID-19 updates

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting daily lives around the world in unprecedented ways. It presents new challenges to food security and, social and economic systems including the globalised and industrialised food system.

The City Region Food Systems approach (CRFS), developed by FAO and RUAF partners (International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems), provides a framework to understand urban food system vulnerability, to enhance communication and cooperation, and to coordinate immediate action that safeguards food security and nutrition.

The approach can help organize food systems in a more effective and sustainable manner to meet producer and consumer demands, by promoting local food production (especially family farmers & small-holders) and shorter supply chains, strengthening urban-rural linkages, and maintaining (or creating) diversity in the food supply chain and channels of distribution (from farm to fork).

In the long term, the CRFS approach helps define policies, interventions and mechanisms of territorial governance for food system transformation, reinforcing cooperation and collaboration among different local governments and other actors, which is one of the key elements to build resilience of the local food system to shocks, including pandemics, epidemics, and climate events.

Cities and city regions, some of which that have implemented CRFS approach, have reported on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting their local food system - and ways in which knowledge, resources and capacity have aided their immediate response to the unprecedented threat of food security.

From Crisis to Transformation--Strengthening urban food governance in Cape Town during a pandemic

Published 21 February 2022

Building Resilience to COVID-19 in City Region Food Systems

Published 19 November 2021

How sustainable green urban farms support the local food system in response to COVID-19

Published 11 December 2020

COVID-19 and the role of local food production in building more resilient local food systems 

Published 18 September 2020

L’impact de la crise du Covid-19 sur les systèmes alimentaires locaux du Congo et la réponse des institutions

Published 27 July 2020

COVID-19 and the chance for fairer, more resilient food system 

Published 18 June 2020

Impacts of COVID-19 on the food systems of Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) and responses 

Published 1 June 2020

Experiences from Jiangsu Province, China: Response measures to ensure the urban food supply system and farmers' livelihoods under COVID-19

Published 20 May 2020

Insights from Melbourne, Australia during COVID-19: Civil society leading the response to strengthen the city region food system

Published 12 May 2020

Local food system responses to COVID-19: Toronto and its city region

Published 12 May 2020

How Quito's urban and peri-urban agriculture contributes to the COVID-19 response

Published 11 May 2020

City region food systems in Medellin, Colombia: A pathway of governmental and territorial integration to face the COVID-19 crisis

Published 29 April 2020

Responding creatively to crises with non-traditional farming

Published 27 April 2020

Local food systems and COVID-19; A glimpse on India's responses

Published 22 April 2020

City region food systems in Antananarivo, Madagascar: a sustainable approach to respond to COVID-19 outbreak

Published 22 April 2020

Strengthening city-region food systems during and beyond COVID-19

Published 10 April 2020

In times of COVID-19, Bolivian urban farmers rethink their ways of thinking

Published 4 April 2020

Local food systems and COVID-19: A look into China's responses

Published 8 April 2020