Lessons from the AIDS epidemic on how COVID-19 may Impact Food and Nutrition Security

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By Stuart Gillespie and Alan Whiteside

Given the speed at which COVID-19 is spreading, we must draw on policy and practice experiences from past epidemics—each is unique, but they offer many common lessons. AIDS was another once-in-a-generation pandemic. In this blog post, Stuart Gillespie and Alan Whiteside share their own and others’ experiences from the AIDS pandemic and their relevance for COVID-19.—John McDermott, series co-editor and Director, CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH)

The COVID-19 pandemic is generating multiple waves of unprecedented global impacts. Epidemics in Europe and the United States are currently in their exponential growth phase, following declines in infection rates in China, South Korea, and Japan.

We have not yet seen major epidemics take off in South Asia, Latin America and Africa south of the Sahara—where governments, health and food systems, communities, and households have limited capacity to respond. But we do know they will take off. Very soon.

Photo credit: Madelline Romero/PSI

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