WUHAN, CHINA – JANUARY 23: (CHINA OUT)The resident wear masks to buy vegetables in the market on January 23th,2020 in Wuhan, Hubei£¬China . Flights, trains and public transport including buses, subway and ferry services have been temporarily closed and officials have asked residents told to stay in town in order to help stop the outbreak of a strain of coronavirus that has killed 17 people and infected over 500 in places as far away as the United States. This week marks the start of Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, the busiest season for Chinese travellers. (Photo by Getty Images)

 

Apr 1, 2020 THANAWAT TIENSIN , AGNES KALIBATAMARTIN COLE

Experts say the pandemic will unleash a food security crisis not seen since the Great Recession. As we learned during the 2008-09 Great Recession, governments – with the support of financial institutions, the United Nations, and others – can mitigate the risk of global food shortages and high prices.

ROME – COVID-19 has been slowly creeping into our communities. As we seek to ensure our families’ health and safety, to many people, food has never seemed so important, both as a source of nutrition and, for many, of comfort. The question is whether, as economic disruption continues, we can stave off a pandemic-related food crisis.

What and how we eat affects our health and wellbeing. We depend on farmers to continue working their fields, on supermarket cashiers to show up at their jobs, and on drivers to deliver our food to markets or front doors. But there are strains. In some places, nutritious food is becoming scarce. Among other concerns, food is being hoarded, leaving little on shelves for consumers.

All of us must act. We must work together to save lives, meet immediate needs through emergency responses, and plan for longer-term solutions to support recovery and build resilience. Governments and responsible leaders need to promote and protect reliable, safe, and affordable food supplies, especially for the world’s most vulnerable.

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