Water and nutrition in a COVID-19 context: Where do we go from here?
Claudia Ringler is Deputy Director of IFPRI’s Environment and Production Technology and a Co-Coordinator of the Working Group on Water & Nutrition of WASAG; Julienne Roux is Senior Network Officer at the Global Water Partnership and a Working Group member.
We have long known that water and nutrition security are intricately linked, yet governments and other actors continue to pursue mostly siloed, single-sector strategies. The cost of such strategies has been rising with the spread of COVID-19, as inequities in access and their impacts have grown while financial resources for more comprehensive solutions are dwindling.
A recent online workshop of the 120-actor strong Working Group on Water and Nutrition under the Global Framework of Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG) brought together communities from both sectors to discuss the key linkages between water and nutrition, recent research insights, and tools and options for joint action for improved water and nutrition security. Forty-five participants from government institutions, development organizations, research and academia, and civil society participated; two thirds self-identified with the water and agricultural community and one third were from the nutrition sector.