CGIAR’s Response to COVID-19

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread rapidly. Since its start in China in December, the outbreak has spread to more than 100 countries, endangering the health and livelihoods of millions. To contain the pandemic, many cities and regions across the world have been shut down, putting a halt to day-to-day activities.

As Western economies struggle with difficult decisions – it is those in the global South that are most at risk. Economies that are dependent on tourism, trade and foreign investment have fewer options at their disposal.

An urgent and coordinated global response is needed – from the global to the local level to protect populations – and especially the most vulnerable. Food security is fragile under normal circumstances and must not be ignored as part of a One Health strategy.

CGIAR, as the world’s largest public research network on food systems, provides evidence to help understand and address threats to food and nutrition security from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as:

  • The food system has been significantly affected, and these impacts will grow if processing enterprises cannot restart production in a near future;
  • Production of staple food crops such as potatoes, wheat, rice, and other vegetables will be affected if the outbreak continues into critical planting periods;
  • Domestic and international trade disruptions may trigger food price panics;
  • Restrictions on mobility may lead to labor shortages.

CGIAR will make available its latest research and analysis on COVID-19 to support authorities and the public in making informed decisions during the current crisis. In the research and news featured below, CGIAR scientists provide evidence-based advice and recommendations on:

  • Releasing new potato and sweetpotato varieties with shorter maturing cycles to help farmers grow food more quickly and under changing climate scenarios;
  • Maintaining steady and uninterrupted operation of our genebank to preserve precious biodiversity;
  • Introducing enabling policies for spring planting and increasing support for production entities;
  • Ensuring the smooth flow of trade and making full use of the international market as a vital tool to secure food supply and demand;
  • Ensuring smooth logistical operations of regional agricultural and food supply chains;
  • Monitoring food prices and strengthening market supervision;
  • Protecting vulnerable groups and providing employment services to migrant workers;
  • Regulating wild food markets to curb the source of the disease;
  • Measuring impact on small and medium-sized businesses;
  • Analyzing how much global poverty will increase because of COVID-19
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