Sunday, November 28

FAO calls on countries to prepare their food systems for new “shocks”

(Belga) Global agrifood systems, still facing the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, must prepare without delay for new “shocks” in the future, whether they are droughts, floods or disease various, warned the FAO Tuesday.

At present, there are already “three billion people who cannot afford a healthy diet that protects them from malnutrition,” she recalls. “One billion more people would be at risk of not being able to afford a healthy diet if a sudden shock were to reduce their income by a third,” economists at the United Nations Food Organization have calculated. and agriculture in a report. The 2021 edition of this report on “The State of Food and Agriculture” also highlights the importance of communication channels. “If critical transport routes were disrupted by a shock, the cost of food could increase for 845 million people,” projects the Rome-based organization. The Covid-19 pandemic “has largely highlighted the weaknesses of global agrifood systems,” notes FAO Director General Qu Dongyu in a foreword. These systems encompass production, food supply chains, domestic transportation networks and consumption. In a previous report in July, the organization estimated that 720 to 811 million people were affected by hunger in 2020, up to 161 million more than in 2019, “an increase largely due to the pandemic”. To make countries aware of the vulnerability of their food systems to shocks and chronic “stress” situations, FAO has developed several “resilience” indicators. Because in an uncertain environment, “the ability to withstand shocks and stressful situations and then bounce back is essential,” she notes. These indicators analyze the domestic production of countries, the extent of their trade, the transport systems available to them, and their population’s access to healthy food. The countries are invited to “seek their weak points”, thanks to these tools, and to try to remedy them, explains to AFP Andrea Cattaneo, principal economist and coordinator of the publication. (Belga)

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