The COVID-19 pandemic – itself likely to have originated from the food system – is exposing gaps and exploiting weaknesses in food systems, societies and economies around the world.
The health risks of the pandemic, combined with the social and economic impacts of measures to stop the spread of the disease — such as social isolation directives, travel bans, and border closures — are posing threats to food, nutrition, and water security, as well as continued progress on achieving global goals to end poverty and hunger, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
The global response to the pandemic must be swift and science-based, harnessing knowledge for emergency response, recovery, and resilience.
CGIAR, as the world’s largest public agricultural research network, already has a strong portfolio of work on issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak and its causes and consequences in relation to food, land and water systems.
CGIAR is actively sharing its existing and emerging knowledge and experience to help address the specific challenges posed by COVID-19, and to rapidly inform policy and programmatic responses.
The core of CGIAR’s response is based on four research pillars: (1) Food systems; (2) One Health (recognizing the linkages between human, animal, and environmental health); (3) Inclusive public programs for food security and nutrition; and (4) Policies and investments for crisis response, economic recovery, and improved future resilience.
Building back better – not returning to business as usual following the COVID-19 crisis – is a priority for a united CGIAR in its efforts to transform food systems to reduce poverty, improve food and nutrition security, and improve the quality of natural resources and ecosystem services, in line with global goals on sustainable development and climate change.