A food systems response to COVID-19

A united CGIAR is working to build back better, through a transformation of the world’s food systems

In the face of a global viral pandemic, science on resilient, healthy, and sustainable food systems has never been more critical. Without substantial emergency relief, 140 million people could fall into extreme poverty, potentially increasing hunger and malnutrition for millions. The world’s most vulnerable, including women, youth, smallholder farmers, and the urban poor, will be the hardest hit.

CGIAR, as the world’s largest public agricultural research network, is working to anticipate and address the causes and consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, building on work that spans almost half a century. As the world prepares to ‘build back better’, CGIAR is adapting its approach to meet global challenges related to food systems, climate change, and sustainable development. A CGIAR COVID-19 Hub, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, will ensure that a research-informed response effectively reaches the world’s most vulnerable.

Interested in how CGIAR is responding to COVID-19? Read Responding to COVID-19: CGIAR’s contribution to global response, recovery and resilience and A 4-point CGIAR response plan on COVID-19.

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Key messages

  • The global response to the pandemic must be swift and science-based, harnessing knowledge for emergency response, recovery, and resilience.
  • 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.
  • A CGIAR COVID-19 Hub, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, will ensure that a research-informed response effectively reaches the world’s most vulnerable.

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CGIAR COVID-19 HUB

A research-informed response to reach the world’s most vulnerable

Tools and databases

CGIAR COVID-19 Hub

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COVID-19 Food Price Monitor

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COVID-19 Impacts on Global Poverty

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Food export restrictions tracker

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COVID-19 Policy Response Portal

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Food Security Portal

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News

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FAQs

What exactly is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that was first detected to have first detected in humans at the end of 2019. COVID-19 is the name of the disease – the acronym COVID is derived from ‘coronavirus disease’, with ‘19’ referring to the year it emerged – while SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus, as the second coronavirus genetically similar to the one that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

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