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COVID-19 global economic recession: Avoiding hunger must be at the centre of the economic stimulus

 30-04-2020

Massive lockdowns and household isolation measures due to COVID-19 pandemic led to a fall in the economic activity, and the expected economic impact is a severe global recession for 2020. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the world is going to face the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and low- and middle-income countries will be worse affected.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is foreseeing the potential impact of the global economic recession on hunger, and this could be significant: the number of undernourished people in net food-importing countries could increase by 14.4 million to 80.3 million, with the majority of the increase coming from low-income countries.

Economic stimulus are urgently needed in all countries and must address two urgent short-term necessities:

  • Measures must maintain food availability at all times, ensuring that the food supply chain is kept active.
  • Measures must be put immediately into place to ensure that disrupted economic activity in all supply chains in general, and in food supply chains in particular, does not worsen people’s access to food.

If the emergency measures fail to guarantee the distribution of nutritious food, the numbers of undernourished people will climb and food insecurity will increase, which will only contribute to higher economic inequality. Stimulus should build resilience into food systems to safeguard them against future economic slowdowns and downturns.

Read the full paper here.

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