The COVID-19 outbreak has unleashed a global health pandemic and economic crisis, posing unprecedented challenges for food systems around the world. Food supplies could be massively disrupted due to measures put in place to control the spread of COVID-19. The number of people suffering from chronic hunger – estimated at well over 800 million before the crisis – could jump dramatically. Governments, businesses, civil society and international agencies need to take urgent, coordinated action to prevent the COVID pandemic turning into a global food and humanitarian crisis.
The signatories of this Call to Action – comprising major businesses, farmers’ groups, industry, non-governmental organisations and academia – call on world leaders to design COVID-19 response measures that minimise the risks of global and regional food security crises in coming months. We need action in three key areas:
1. Keep the supply of food flowing across the world – maintain open trade
2. Scale support to the most vulnerable – ensure access to nutritious, affordable food for all
3. Invest in sustainable, resilient food systems – sow seeds of recovery for people and planet.