Since early 2020, Guatemala has faced a multitude of food security shocks: from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions on movement and disruptions to agricultural trade to widespread flooding following several major tropical storms to skyrocketing staple food prices. A new article in World Development examines the immediate and longer term impact of these shocks on households’ incomes, diets, food security, and migration decisions, particularly in rural areas.
With one in six people around the world almost entirely dependent on international trade to meet their food needs, agricultural trade can clearly play a pivotal role in both addressing and exacerbating food security challenges. While progress has been made to bring attention to food security needs in trade negotiations in recent years, harmful policies like temporary food export restrictions are still a common reaction to price spikes, market disruptions, and production shortfalls – shocks that are likely to become increasingly frequent due to climate change and ongoing conflicts.
How Much Is Lost When Disaster Strikes? New FAO Report Looks at Impact on Agricultural Production, Food Security
Nearly US$ 4 trillion: That is the amount of global crop and livestock production the FAO estimates has been lost over the past three decades due to disaster events. According to the new report, “The impact of disasters on agriculture and food security,” this equates to an average loss of US$123 billion per year and as much as 5 percent of annual global agricultural GDP.
World Food Day 2023 (October 16) focuses on the theme “Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind.” While no one doubts that water of sufficient quantity and adequate quality is essential to sustaining all life on Earth, including us humans, water is often taken for granted. This is largely due to the fact that its role in food systems and many other vital processes—including ecosystem health, energy production, and manufacturing—remains, on the whole, invisible.
Global trade tensions fueled by rising government subsidies risk undermining efforts to fight poverty
We are witnessing important setbacks in the open, international trade system that has driven prosperity around the world and lifted billions of people out of poverty in developing countries. Geopolitical tensions, on the heels of earlier trade wars—and accentuated by shocks such as the pandemic, disruptions in supply chains, and climate events—are heightening the risk of economic fragmentation.