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Protecting agricultural workers through remote COVID-19 awareness campaigns in Pakistan. Using digital media and distanced messaging to promote virus mitigation and combat misinformation

The continuing COVID-19 pandemic—and related lockdowns—triggered a massive cash crisis around the world for families who depend on informal earnings, including daily wage workers. In Pakistan, a nationwide lockdown was imposed on 21 March 2020. This had major reverberations on the food supply chain and agriculture sector, where restrictive measures threatened the livelihoods of workers and smallholder farmers. In total, as of 12 July 2020, there were 248 872 confirmed cases throughout Pakistan.

Lockdown-related challenges have created new threats to public health, with communities struggling to adhere to restrictions while still securing food for their families. Overall, society’s most vulnerable and food insecure segments have been disproportionately affected by the immediate impacts of lockdown measures, which include sudden unemployment, food price shocks, disruptions in marketing and food trade, logistics and production, and upended labor migration patterns.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Pakistan, together with partners, delivered both physical and remote sensitization messages: field-based resources—including close to 80 000 materials printed and distributed by over 300 000 frontline workers—were complemented with remote communication technologies, ranging from social media posts, local radio broadcasts, and newly modified online components to the Farmer Field School (FFS) platform.

Find more COVID-19-related resources here.

Asia & Pacific