The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the world’s economy, food systems, public health, and nutrition. There is growing concern that this global health crisis could morph into a food crisis, putting hundreds of millions of people at a risk of hunger. A June 30 IFPRI virtual event explored how food businesses are functioning during the pandemic and what might happen in its aftermath.
Rapid urbanization and income growth are driving shifts in the diets of urban consumers in low-income countries in Africa and South Asia from inexpensive staple cereals to higher-value products such as fruits, vegetables, and animal-sourced foods. While the current disruption to incomes and supply chains from the COVID-19 pandemic may slow these developments and threaten food security in the near term, the longer-term demographic trends and related demand changes will provide important opportunities for agricultural development and reducing rural poverty.
The world is not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of zero hunger by 2030, according to the 2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report, released in mid-July.