Interim Issues Paper on the Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition

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24th March 2020

High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and nutrition (HLPE)

Committee for World Food Security

Interim Issues Paper on the Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN)
by the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and nutrition (HLPE)

Introduction

General context

The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in November 2019 in the province of Hubei, China. Since 23 January 2020, the city of Wuhan has been locked down. Quite soon afterwards, other areas of China adopted very strict measures to contain the spreading of COVID-19. Now, China claims effective control over the spread of COVID-19. However, the impacts, both on China (about two months of disruption/strong negative influence on production) and on the world (China’s current proportion of World GDP stands at 16.3%, compared to only 4.2% at the time of the SARS outbreak in 2003) are quite big and not yet fully estimated.

On 11 March 2020, WHO declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a “pandemic”. As of 22 March 2020, COVID-19 has spread to 186 countries.

European Union countries, and especially Italy, Spain and France have taken very strict measures in the effort to contain the spread of the virus, mirroring the ones adopted earlier in China. Other countries have used different approaches but are also now beginning to adopt stricter containment measures.

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