Photo credit: Nithi Anand

In 2006, the Indian government launched the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). This program guarantees rural households both the legal right to employment for up to 100 days per year and a minimum agricultural wage set at the state level. Since its launch in 2006, MGNREGS has become the largest public works project in the world, but questions remain about the program’s true effectiveness. In particular, critics have highlighted the program’s high costs, inefficiencies, and potential for corruption.

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: GPE/Daisuka Kanazawa

An estimated 152 million children around the world are stuck in child labor. On the Day Against Child Labor (June 12), the FAO, in collaboration with the International Partnership for Cooperation on ending Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA), hosted an online discussion of this sweeping global problem. Meant to (L)earn: A discussion about child labour in agriculture, hosted by journalist Valériane Gauthier of France 24, highlighted the extent of child labour in agriculture and the action needed to eliminate this violation of human rights.

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: Sven Hansen

This post originally appeared on

Webinar hosted by the Food Security Portal

8 May 2020, 9:00 - 10:30 EDT

Food security and nutrition security, particularly in
low-income countries, continue to face significant
challenges, from volatile food prices, climate
change-driven shocks, and conflict to pandemics

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: G.M.B. Akash/Panos

Inclusive, sustainable food systems are crucial for long-term economic and food security, particularly in light of the new challenges presented by COVID-19.