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Impacts of COVID-19 on people’s food security: Foundations for a more resilient food system

IFPRI Béné, C., Bakker, D., Chavarro, M. J. , Even, B., Melo, J., Sonneveld, A. 2021-2-1
A Report on global assessment of the impacts of COVID-19 on food systems and their actors, focusing specifically on the consequences that the pandemic had brought on the food security and nutrition of those who have been affected by the crisis. This included formal and informal actors of the food supply chains (from producers to street vendors) as well as consumers, in both rural and urban environments. Building on this assessment, the task was then to draw on key principles of resilience in the context of humanitarian and food security crisis, to identify preliminary elements of a food system resilience research agenda. The assessment was based on a methodical mapping of the information available worldwide, collected with electronic search engines in four different languages (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese). Analytically, two main concepts were used to unpack and analyse the effects of COVID-19 on people’s food security and nutrition: the concept of food security per se and the concept of food environment. Several dimensions were then included in the analysis: food availability (supply); food access (affordability and physical accessibility); food utilization (quality and safety); stability; proximity; convenience; food waste and losses; and diversity of food items. In addition, elements of people’s wellbeing were considered, including agency and self-efficacy, prevalence of domestic violence, and increased risk of exposure to the virus. The quality of the evidence was assessed using two standard criteria: knowledge elaboration and quality of data, and the level of analytics applied to the data was adjusted to the quality of the information. In total, more than 9,630 documents discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the food security of the different actors of food systems between January and December 2020 were identified, using a combination of keywords specifically chosen to address the objectives of the study. After removal of documents with low representativity and/or low reliability (mainly news media and personal social media reports), we were left with 337 documents covering 62 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and the Americas.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Central Africa
  • Central America
  • Central Asia
  • East Africa
  • East Asia
  • Ethiopia
  • Europe
  • Global
  • Horn of Africa
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Latin America
  • Lebanon
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malawi
  • Mexico
  • Myanmar
  • Myanmar
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Africa
  • North America
  • Oceania
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South America
  • South Asia
  • Southeast Africa
  • Southeast Asia
  • Southern Africa
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
  • West Africa
  • Zimbabwe
  • Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
  • Adults (men and/or women 19+ years old)
  • Community/ies
  • Country-level population(s)
  • Households
  • Men (adults and/or adolescents)
  • Women (adults and/or adolescents)
  • Research
  • Report

Highlighted Sources

Act now before Ukraine war plunges millions into malnutrition

  • Advocacy
  • Policy
  • Research
  • Policy Guidance Document
  • Scientific Publication/Journal article
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Education
  • Food Insecurity
  • Gender and/or Agency
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Social Support and Protection
  • Ukraine War
  • Women and/or Girls
2022-4-21
Article on the impact of the Ukraine war on global malnutrition, laying out the elements contributing to this worldwide nutrition crisis including the disproportionate effects on women and children. It puts forward five urgent actions to be taken by governments, donors, and others to protect current and future generations from the devastating effects of malnutrition as well as to prevent acute food insecurity. View Source

Economic shocks predict increases in child wasting prevalence

  • Research
  • Article
  • Scientific Publication/Journal article
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Social Support and Protection
2022-04-20
Article on the impact of severe negative economic shock on child acute malnutrition (wasting), a major risk factor for under-5 mortality. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) macroeconomic volatility is common, and severe negative economic shocks can substantially increase poverty and food insecurity. Less well understood are the implications of these contractions for child wasting. This study explores the nutritional impacts of economic growth shocks over 1990–2018 by linking wasting outcomes collected for 1.256 million children from 52 countries to lagged annual changes in economic growth. Estimates suggest that a 10% annual decline in national income increases moderate/severe wasting prevalence by 14.4–17.8%. An exploration of possible mechanisms suggests negative economic shocks may increase risks of inadequate dietary diversity among children. Applying these results to the latest economic growth estimates for 2020 suggests that COVID-19 could put an additional 9.4 million preschoolers at risk of wasting, net of the effects of preventative policy actions. View Source

Assessing and mitigating the impact of shocks on food security and nutrition in the Asia Pacific region: Lessons from the COVID-19 response for informing the Global Food Crisis response

  • Policy
  • Research
  • Brief
  • Policy Guidance Document
  • Report
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Social Support and Protection
  • Ukraine War
  • Women and/or Girls
2022-7
Report on assessing and mitigating the impact of shocks on food security and nutrition in the Asia Pacific region to obtain lessons from the COVID-19 response for informing the Global Food Crises response. It lays out a series of studies undertaken by WFP and partners to better understand the realities of the food security and nutrition landscape since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. These are based on experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, where WFP has continually assessed household vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity through monitoring surveys, while simultaneously providing technical assistance and operations support for programs in response to the pandemic in the Asia Pacific region. In addition to WFP’s food security monitoring reports and data made available from WFP’s Fill the Nutrient Gap analyses, this brief utilizes secondary data relevant to the crisis, as well as four documents recently published by WFP and its partners. While the focus of this brief is on the COVID-19 crisis, its lessons can be applied now and into the future. Other types of covariate shocks will create compounding problems for countries. View Source