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The dual threat of extreme weather and the COVID-19 crisis: Anticipating the impacts on food availability

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound negative effect on the global economy and is occurring in the context of a rapidly changing climate. This year is expected to be the second hottest in recorded history. Weather forecasts for 2020 indicate a high probability that extreme weather will adversely affect food production in many countries.

This brief draws on historical evidence and demonstrates that reductions in national food availability caused by severe weather events tend to be considerably larger in magnitude when they occur during global economic downturns. The risks posed by this dual threat are particularly high for poorer countries that are net food importers. Taking actions to mitigate these adverse effects in the short-term, while building the resilience of agri-food systems to future shocks is critical for avoiding major contractions in food availability and associated risks of food insecurity.

See the full list of policy briefs related to COVID-19.