Viewpoint: Why COVID-19 Impacted World Food Day 2020 Is the Time To Prioritize Investments in Food Systems
By Wambui Gichuri
World Food Day 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization, but celebrations this 16 October are muted due to the coronavirus.
COVID-19’s multi-sectoral impact should have governments and development institutions rethink investments in food security, healthy diets, and building infrastructure that supports how food is grown, processed, traded, delivered, sold and consumed.
COVID-19 lockdowns and decreases in incomes have generated a double demand shock – increasing the number of poor and vulnerable people, particularly in Africa’s cities.
To meet today’s needs, the African continent relies on more than $75 billion worth of food imports to supplement its food supply. From cereals like wheat, maize and rice, to dairy products and other animal products – Africa imports essential food in significant amounts and this deficit has quadrupled in the last 15 years.
Photo courtesy of Brian Wolfe.