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Leveraging COVID-19 recovery strategies to build climate-smart agrifood systems in developing countries

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized the stability of agrifood systems and the welfare of the rural households that are actively engaged in the different components of these systems, particularly in developing countries. Efforts are underway to redress the negative impacts of the pandemic through investments to ‘build back better’. These efforts represent an enormous opportunity to make significant and lasting contribution to the longer-term resilience and sustainability of agrifood systems in the context of climate change.

The objective of this report is to provide an overview of the current opportunities for harnessing short-term response and recovery efforts to address longer-term impacts on resilience and sustainability. The analysis focuses on the role of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in recovery strategies and outlines concrete policy objectives that can be implemented by national governments and their development partners. The report is structured in two parts. The first part outlines the nature of the challenges presented by climate change and COVID-19, their interrelationships, and the potential role CSA can play in addressing these interrelated challenges. The second part of the report outlines a set of policy options for enabling post-pandemic recovery efforts to contribute to longer-term resilience of agrifood systems through investments in CSA and associated enabling conditions.