Policy seminar: COVID-19's implications for food security, nutrition, and poverty

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As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions in economies, food systems, and public health are falling heavily on the global poor. IFPRI researchers explored these complex global and country-level implications at an April 14 online seminar.

“COVID-19 will have significant impacts on global food security, on nutrition, and on poverty. The impacts are going to be heterogeneous–different impacts for different food systems and for people in different environments,” said IFPRI Director General Johan Swinnen in opening the event.

COVID-19, Swinnen explained, will disproportionately impact the poor because widespread business shutdowns prohibit so many from using their single largest economic asset—manual labor. Most do not have other assets such as land or capital to fall back on. In addition, governments of poorer countries are less able to provide support to make up for lost incomes, and social protection programs, which contribute to overall health and nutrition, are disrupted, he noted.

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