According to the FAO Regional Office, the COVID-19 pandemic poses a serious threat to food and nutrition security in Asia and the Pacific, as the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic and the lockdowns threaten both economic and physical access to food.
In this respect, the FAO calls on the region’s countries to focus on:
Controlling the spread of the virus and implementing physical distancing to reduce fear among all laborers, including those working in food supply chains.
Expanding social protection, in the short-term as part of countries’ economic stimulus measures, to cover more people and provide more generous benefits to ensure food access for all, while also reducing the administrative burden needed to access the funds.
The necessity of working together for Governments and the private sector to solve disruptions in food supply chains when they arise.
Avoiding export restrictions in international trade to make sure supply chains continue to function.
Building resilience into food systems to safeguard them against future economic and health shocks as part of stimulus measures to ensure food access.
As per Jong-Jin Kim, FAO Deputy Regional Representative and Head of the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in such circumstances, “clearly we need to adapt many aspects of our present policies and approaches to growing, harvesting, transporting, processing and selling food in this evolving era of COVID-19 to secure our nutritional well-being and our livelihoods.”
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