How the UN and partners are addressing COVID-19 impacts on food systems and nutrition

Focus Region:
Global
Focus Topic:
Knowledge Management
Nutrition / Food Systems
Institutions / Organizations
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses

Disruptions of food systems amid COVID-19 may affect people’s nutritional and health status. Web-based resources from the UN System and other actors offer valuable knowledge to understand these impacts and the work to address them.

 

The current global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted food systems around the world. Food environments are where people meet the food system. Around the world people’s food environments are rapidly changing in both their external dimensions – food availability, prices, vendors- as well as personal dimensions – geographical access, affordability, convenience and desirability.  These rapid food environment changes are influencing the consumers’ dietary practices and can lead to a deterioration in both individual, and country level, nutritional and health status.

People, and their health and nutrition status, are what counts. Sustainable healthy diets that contain sufficient fruits and vegetables are crucial in protecting people’s immunity. Particularly for those at risk of, or suffering from food insecurity and those with pre-existing non-communicable diseases who are at a heightened risk of becoming severely ill with the virus.

The work of UN agencies and partner organizations to promote nutrition and healthy food systems during the pandemic is continually expanding and strengthening. Contributing to the coronavirus pandemic response, the UNSCN has compiled a list of available resources and key readings with a focus on nutrition and food systems. This list will be continually updated and expanded as more resources become available.

UN AGENCIES GENERAL RESPONSE

FOOD SYSTEMS

DATA PREGNANCY, BREASTFEEDING, INFANT/YOUNG CHILD FEEDING

SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN

  • The Global Child Nutrition Foundation
    – The GCNF website provides up to date insights into the country level impacts and mitigation efforts to protect school aged children from malnutrition related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

ADULTS

EMERGENCY NUTRITION RESPONSE

  • UNICEF
     NutritionI COVID-19: a knowledge dissemination tool to share programmatic guidance, position papers, technical notes, and emerging research and evidence being developed by UNICEF and its partners

ARTICLES AND BLOG POSTS PROVIDING INSIGHTS INTO NUTRITION AND FOOD SYSTEMS IN THE RESPONSE TO COVID-19

RELEVANT NETWORKS, KNOWLEDGE HUBS AND COPS

  • Scaling up Nutrition (SUN)- COVID-19 and Nutrition: a knowledge hub for members of the SUN Movement that shares articles and updates which shed light on important links between COVID-19 and nutrition, hunger, health and food systems.
  • SDG2 Advocacy Hub- SDG2 & COVID-19 Reading List: The SDG2 Advocacy Hub brings together NGOs, advocacy groups, civil society, the private sector and UN agencies to share expertise, ideas, and to collaborate on campaigns to achieve SDG2. The Secretariat has pulled together a number of thought pieces highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on food, food systems and more.
  • Nutrition Connect: this initiative mobilises knowledge, share experiences, and stimulate dialogue on public private engagements (PPE) for nutrition. A special section on COVID-19 has been created to bring together news and resources related to the risks, responses and impact of COVID-19 on food systems and nutrition.
  • Agriculture-Nutrition COP (Ag2Nut): Join the community to connect with a global network of professionals whose work focuses on the intersection of agriculture and nutrition. Webinars discussions about COVID-19, food systems, and interaction with malnutrition are planned for early April.
  • Food for the Cities : Join the community to get in touch with a large group of practitioners, researchers, professors, urban and rural community leaders, technicians and professionals in diverse agency settings sharing ways in which communities, cities and national governments are organizing to address enormous economic and social transformations (in the food system) as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy: this is a global research network in agriculture and food systems for improved nutrition and health to serve as a platform for learning and sharing. They offer an open-access map of experiences, perspectives, opportunities and questions from researchers around the world about the impact of COVID-19 and other health emergencies on food systems, agriculture and nutrition.
  • The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is curating a special series of blogposts analyzing the impacts of COVID-19 on national and global food and nutrition security, poverty and development.
  • SFS Programme statement on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis and food systems. Read about key considerations for our food systems during this unprecedented crisis.
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD): a commentary that takes stock of emergency measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 and provides governments with options for avoiding a surge of investor-state claims challenging those measures.
SOURCE:
UNSCN
COVER PHOTO:
©PARM/Carlos Acosta