Impact of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition

We have an opportunity to build a more inclusive and sustainable world.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has made a heartfelt plea for international action to strengthen food security in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his plea, he communicates three strong messages.

First, we must mobilize to save lives and livelihoods, focusing attention where the risk is most acute.

Second, we must strengthen social protection systems for nutrition, ensuring countries safeguard access to safe, nutritious foods, particularly for young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women.

And third, we must invest in the future, building a more inclusive and sustainable world, with food systems that address the needs of food producers and workers by providing access to healthy and nutritious food and re-balancing the relationship between food systems and the natural environment.

The need for action is strong and immediate. We must not forget that food systems contribute up to 29 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, including 44 per cent of methane, and are having a negative impact on biodiversity.

To promote stronger food supply chains the UN has published a policy brief The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition.The brief suggests priority actions to address the immediate, near-and medium-term needs to protect people during and beyond the pandemic, and – ultimately – to reshape and build resilient food systems.