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Impacts of COVID-19 on people's food security: Foundations for a more resilient food system

Christophe Béné (The Alliance Bioversity International – CIAT)
Deborah Bakker and Anne Sonneveld (Wageningen University and Research)
Monica Chavarro, Brice Even and Jenny Melo (The Alliance Bioversity International – CIAT

Food systems lessons from COVID-19: From understanding fragilities to building resilience
Co-Organized by IFPRI and the CGIAR COVID-19 Hub
MAR 2, 2021 - 09:30 AM TO 11:00 AM EST

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Impacts of COVID-19 on people's food security: Foundations for a more resilient food system

  1. 1. openaccessnews Chris Béné (The Alliance Bioversity International – CIAT) Deborah Bakker and Anne Sonneveld (Wageningen University and Research) Monica Chavarro, Brice Even and Jenny Melo (The Alliance Bioversity International – CIAT) Impacts of COVID-19 on people’s food security Foundations for a more resilient food system
  2. 2. www.cgiar.org Objective of the study • Global assessment of the impacts of COVID-19 on food systems and their actors • Focus on the food security and nutrition • Preliminary elements of a food system resilience research agenda to build back better. 1 Photo: Deepak Choudhary
  3. 3. www.cgiar.org Framework 2 • Food Security (FAO 1996) • Food Environment (Herforth and Ahmed 2015) • Food systems wastes and losses diversity of food items • Wellbeing agency – self-efficacy domestic violence • Macro economic elements GDP poverty line Food Environment Food Security Health & Wellbeing Foot Print ▪ Stability ▪ Availability (supply) ▪ Access (physical accessibility) ▪ Affordability (economic accessibility) ▪ Proximity ▪ Convenience ▪ Waste and Losses ▪ Diversity of food items ▪ Agency and self-efficacy ▪ Domestic violence and unrest ▪ Risk of contagion ▪ Quality and safety (utilization) • change in GDP • change in poverty Macro-economy Food system
  4. 4. www.cgiar.org Number of documents Scope and depth 3 • English, Spanish, French and Portuguese • 12 months (Jan-Dec 2020) • 337 documents • 62 countries
  5. 5. www.cgiar.org Impact pathways 4 1. Disruption in upstream supplychain 2. Disruption inactors’ own activities 3. Loss ofor reduced connectivity 4. Reduction in labour/ workers availability 5. Drop in profitability 7. Increasedwastedfood 8. Forced closure of business dueto safetyor sanitary decrees c. Safety or sanitary decrees/regulations 9. Degradation in Rules ofLaw 11. Increased abuses against marginalized individual or groups 12. Drop in perceived self-efficacy or agency 16. Domesticviolence 15. Increased exposure 21. Increased risk of consumption ofunsafe food Affecting consumers(including producers, workers and mid-streamfood system actors) Affecting producers,workers and food systemmid-streamactors Affecting producers,workers andmid-stream food systemactorsand consumers Direct effectsof COVIDor directly-related responsesby authorities Immediateconsequences on food system actors Subsequentrepercussionson food systemactorsand/or other (non-food system)actors Final impactson consumers’ food security dimensionsand/or food systemactors’ health& well-being 6. Reduction in downstream demand 14. Lossofjob and/or reduction in income/revenues 10. Increased gender discrimination 17. Disruption in access to (usual)food outlets 22. Forcedshift tomore expensivefood outlets 20. Reduction in proximityand/or convenience 19. Degradationin food choice and diversity 13. Hoarding disruption a. COVID related illnessordeath 18. (Relative)increase in price offood/lower affordability b. Mobility restriction and lockdown
  6. 6. www.cgiar.org 1. Disruption in upstream supplychain 2. Disruption inactors’ own activities 3. Loss of or reduced connectivity 4. Reduction in labour/ workers availability 5. Drop in profitability 7. Increasedwastedfood 8. Forced closure of business dueto safetyor sanitary decrees c. Safety or sanitary decrees/regulations 9. Degradation in Rules of Law 11. Increased abuses against marginalized individual or groups 12. Drop in perceived self-efficacy or agency 16. Domesticviolence 15. Increased exposure 21. Increased risk of consumption ofunsafe food Affecting consumers (including producers, workers and mid-streamfood system actors) Affecting producers,workers and food systemmid-streamactors Affecting producers,workers andmid-stream food systemactors and consumers Direct effects of COVIDor directly-related responses by authorities Immediateconsequences on food system actors Subsequentrepercussions on food systemactors and/or other (non-food system) actors Final impacts on consumers’ food security dimensions and/or food systemactors’ health& well-being 6. Reduction in downstream demand 14. Loss ofjob and/or reduction in income/revenues 10. Increased gender discrimination 17. Disruption in access to (usual) food outlets 22. Forcedshift tomore expensivefood outlets 20. Reduction in proximityand/or convenience 19. Degradationin food choice and diversity 13. Hoarding disruption a. COVID related illness ordeath 18. (Relative) increase in price of food/lower affordability b. Mobility restriction and lockdown Impact pathways 5 • Importance of system/dynamics approach: 56 forward and backward links identified • Multiple intermingled, non-linear pathways. • from ‘disruption in access to food outlets’ to ‘degradation in food choice and diversity’ • from ‘loss of job/reduction in income/revenues’ to ‘degradation in food choice and diversity’ 1. Disruption in upstream supplychain 2. Disruption inactors’ own activities 3. Loss of or reduced connectivity 4. Reduction in labour/ workers availability 5. Drop in profitability 7. Increasedwastedfood 8. Forced closure of business dueto safetyor sanitary decrees c. Safety or sanitary decrees/regulations 9. Degradation in Rules of Law 11. Increased abuses against marginalized individual or groups 12. Drop in perceived self-efficacy or agency 16. Domesticviolence 15. Increased exposure 21. Increased risk of consumption ofunsafe food Affecting consumers (including producers, workers and mid-streamfood system actors) Affecting producers,workers and food systemmid-streamactors Affecting producers,workers andmid-stream food systemactors and consumers Direct effects of COVIDor directly-related responses by authorities Immediateconsequences on food system actors Subsequentrepercussions on food systemactors and/or other (non-food system) actors Final impacts on consumers’ food security dimensions and/or food systemactors’ health& well-being 6. Reduction in downstream demand 14. Loss ofjob and/or reduction in income/revenues 10. Increased gender discrimination 17. Disruption in access to (usual) food outlets 22. Forcedshift tomore expensivefood outlets 20. Reduction in proximityand/or convenience 19. Degradationin food choice and diversity 13. Hoarding disruption a. COVID related illness ordeath 18. (Relative) increase in price of food/lower affordability b. Mobility restriction and lockdown 1. Disruption in upstream supplychain 2. Disruption inactors’ own activities 3. Loss of or reduced connectivity 4. Reduction in labour/ workers availability 5. Drop in profitability 7. Increasedwastedfood 8. Forced closure of business dueto safetyor sanitary decrees c. Safety or sanitary decrees/regulations 9. Degradation in Rules of Law 11. Increased abuses against marginalized individual or groups 12. Drop in perceived self-efficacy or agency 16. Domesticviolence 15. Increased exposure 21. Increased risk of consumption ofunsafe food Affecting consumers (including producers, workers and mid-streamfood system actors) Affecting producers,workers and food systemmid-streamactors Affecting producers,workers andmid-stream food systemactors and consumers Direct effects of COVIDor directly-related responses by authorities Immediateconsequences on food system actors Subsequentrepercussions on food systemactors and/or other (non-food system) actors Final impacts on consumers’ food security dimensions and/or food systemactors’ health& well-being 6. Reduction in downstream demand 14. Loss ofjob and/or reduction in income/revenues 10. Increased gender discrimination 17. Disruption in access to (usual) food outlets 22. Forcedshift tomore expensivefood outlets 20. Reduction in proximityand/or convenience 19. Degradationin food choice and diversity 13. Hoarding disruption a. COVID related illness ordeath 18. (Relative) increase in price of food/lower affordability b. Mobility restriction and lockdown physical accessibility and economic affordability were the two most frequently reported dimensions of people’s food security affected by COVID-19, leading to degradation in food choice and diversity
  7. 7. www.cgiar.org Salient points 6 • No major supply shortage – physical and economic accessibility (consumers) severely affected • No global collapse but a lot of suffering (for many) and some huge profits (for a few) o “Losers”: Informal and small operators (with no support and no social protection) - Difficult to estimate their number o “Winners”: larger grocery store and supermarkets
  8. 8. www.cgiar.org Salient points 7 • Degradation in food insecurity due to world economy slowdown • System ‘resisted’ – several interpretations o System’s actors resilient, or o Protected as “essential services” • Many effects still poorly quantified or documented o Nutrition o Shift from Food-Consumed-away-from-Home to Food-entirely-Consumed-at-Home (consequences unclear) o Domestic violence
  9. 9. www.cgiar.org Resilience lessons 8 • Important gaps in our knowledge about resilience of food systems o used often rhetorically in food system policies, and o too theoretically in the academic communities • Where to start…. o Identifying actors’ and value chains’ vulnerabilities - technical, social, etc. o Understanding actors’ responses to shocks – ripple effects o Understand better resilience capacities • Resilience as a means, not as an end
  10. 10. www.cgiar.org Building back better (3B) 9 • Learning from our mistakes... • apply resilience analysis principles • analyzing what worked, what did not - short-term (reactive) responses - longer-term recovery strategies • Going beyond the rhetoric of the “3B” buzzword (policy-makers) • Resilience of food systems, political economy (researchers) • Learn how to better navigate tensions between irreconcilable sectoral priorities Juan Pablo Rodriguez

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