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Publication | 18 May 2020

COVID-19 and the crisis in food systems: Symptoms, causes, and potential solutions

Global Food and Nutrition Security

The COVID-19 health crisis has brought on an economic crisis, and is rapidly exacerbating an ongoing food security and nutrition crisis. In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has laid bare the underlying risks, fragilities, and inequities in global food systems, and pushed them close to breaking point.

Our food systems have been sitting on a knife-edge for decades: children have been one school meal away from hunger; countries – one export ban away from food shortages; farms – one travel ban away from critical labour shortages; and families in the world’s poorest regions have been one missed day-wage away from food insecurity, untenable living costs, and forced migration.