July 10, 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic is jeopardizing human health and disrupting food systems. In order to avoid global food emergency, FAO is calling upon all current and potential partners to join a coordinated and strategic COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme.
Even before the pandemic, about 135 million people around the world were already facing acute levels of hunger, according to the Global Report on Food Crises 2020.
Measures to control virus outbreaks are disrupting global food supply chains. Border restrictions and lockdowns are slowing harvests, destroying livelihoods and hindering food transport. According to the World Bank’s estimates, the pandemic's economic impact could push about 49 million people into extreme poverty. Soaring unemployment rates, income losses and rising food costs are jeopardizing food access in developed and developing countries alike and will have long-term effects on food security.
Equally urgent is the compounding threat of the pandemic on existing crises – such as conflict, natural disasters, climate change, pests and plagues – that are already stressing our food systems and triggering food insecurity around the globe.
To provide an agile and coordinated global response that ensures nutritious food for all both during and after the pandemic, FAO is seeking USD 1.2 billion in initial investments for a comprehensive and holistic COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme. In line with the UN approach to “build back better,” and in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, the programme aims to mitigate the immediate impacts of the pandemic while strengthening the long-term resilience of food systems and livelihoods.
The programme is also supported by the COVID -19 Food Coalition, which is launched by the Government of Italy and led by FAO mobilizing political, financial and technical assistance in support of countries affected by the current crisis.
On Tuesday, 14 July 2020, from 9:30 to 12:00 CEST, FAO will host an open dialogue with existing and potential partners to unveil its comprehensive COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme and funding needs, discuss priority response areas, and demonstrate modalities for partnering with FAO in the response.