The COVID-19 pandemic has serious potential negative impacts on food security and nutrition, livelihoods and incomes, and poverty all over the world. As part of its objective to contribute to better informed policies to improve food security and nutrition and enhance resilience to shocks, the Food Security Portal is tracking the effects of the global pandemic on food prices, food security, and nutrition and is monitoring domestic and trade policy responses to COVID-19. This page brings together tools and resources, blog posts, and links to other COVID-19 pages for tracking and analyzing the potential impacts of the global pandemic.

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Source:COVID-19 impacts on global poverty (Dashboard) , and the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University

Map disclaimer: The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    COVID-19 Tools and Resources

 

Food prices strongly influence the livelihoods and dietary choices of farmers, traders, processors, and consumers. When markets are tight, prices are sensitive to shocks such as a bad harvest or, in today’s context, supply disruptions caused by COVID-19. For the poor who spend most of their income on food, any food price increase may put their food security at risk. The Food Security Portal's COVID-19 Food Price Monitor serves as a temperature check of market conditions for staple and non-staple foods at the local level.

Cases of COVID-19 worldwide have grown exponentially since our previous analyses of the pandemic’s impacts on global staple food markets and poverty and hunger. More than half of the world population is currently under some form of social distancing to contain the health crisis. With COVID-19 and its economic fallout now spreading in the poorest parts of the world, many more people will become poor and food-insecure.

The Excessive Food Price Variability Early Warning System is a tool of the Food Security Portal that identifies periods of excessive price variability (i.e. price variability that exceeds a pre-established threshold), and it is updated on a daily basis to identify days that are within periods of high, moderate, and low price variability. The tool is based on a statistical model that formally models the behavior (fluctuations) of commodity price returns (i.e. day-to-day percentage changes of commodity prices) using futures market prices closest to maturity.

While the impacts of rising food prices may be clear, the root causes of such price increases often are not. The role of various short- and long-term factors, such as the growth of commodities futures markets and changing levels of grain stocks, continues to be debated.

During the current COVID-19 crisis, some national governments have moved to restrict food exports. This behavior can, in aggregate, have dire unintended consequences for vulnerable people in food-importing countries, increasing prices and exacerbating issues of food insecurity already inflamed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It may also negatively affect producers in the export-restricting countries. Similar trade policies contributed to the 2007-2008 food price crisis; may history not repeat itself.

The spread of COVID-19, as well as the wide range of policy responses enacted around the world to contain the pandemic, have exerted wide-ranging effects on agri-food systems and livelihoods. To analyze the direct and indirect impacts of these responses in a comparative way, the COVID-19 Policy Response (CPR) Portal systematically captures policy responses through multiple channels, including population restrictions, social protection, trade, health, fiscal, and monetary measures.

    COVID-19 Blogs

 

Photo credit: Matt Crampton

Futures prices for most staple food commodities have fallen since February because of market supply chain disruptions associated with the spread of the COVID-19 virus and lower oil prices, among other factors. However, overall, price variability in the major agricultural commodity markets has remained relatively calm in the face of COVID-19-related shutdowns. Until recently, the exceptions to this relative calm have included hard wheat and coffee. Hard wheat saw moderate and high levels of price variability from April 9 to June 15.

As concerns over COVID-19's potential impacts on food prices and food security continue, accurate and timely data and information are more crucial than ever. On May 8, the Food Security Portal hosted a webinar on near-real-time monitoring of food crisis risk factors like the COVID-19 pandemic, food price volatility, climate-driven shocks, conflict, and economic downturns.

Photo credit: ©2011CIAT/NeilPalmer

The FAO Food Price Index plunged to a 17-month low in May, driven in large part by sustained negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prices across all sub-indices declined with the exception of sugar prices.

Photo credit: ESSP

This post originally appeared on IFPRI's Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (ESSP) blog.

The share of households consuming dairy products in Addis Ababa has dropped by 11 percentage points since the COVID-19 crisis, seemingly linked to perceived risks of consuming dairy products. All income groups declined their consumption, except for the richest quintile where the share of consuming households changed little.

Photo credit: Patrick M. Loeff

The FAO Food Price Index fell for the third consecutive month in April as global markets continue to see the effects of COVID-19. The 3.4-percent decrease brought the Index to the lowest point seen since January 2019.

Photo credit: Sven Hansen

This post originally appeared on IFPRI.org.

Photo credit: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

An estimated 135 million people around the world faced acute levels of hunger in 2019, according to the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises, released this week. This number reflects the highest level of acute hunger seen since the report’s inception in 2017.

The 2019 increase in food crises and acute hunger is all the more concerning in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report emphasizes that without urgent and widespread action, the spread of the pandemic to developing countries will further disrupt populations’ access to food, compounding existing food crises and spurring new ones.

Photo credit: Myriam B./Shutterstock
Photo credit: IFPRI

This post originally appeared on IFPRI.org blog.

As COVID-19 spreads around the globe, fears of a deep global recession are mounting. Some also fear that food supplies may start running short, especially if supply chains are disrupted. Others fear that agricultural production may be disrupted by containment measures that restrict workers from harvesting and handling crops.

It originally appeared on Agrilinks.

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