How much to avert a COVID-19 hunger crisis?

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New report “What would it cost to avert the COVID-19 hunger crisis?” estimates that USD$10 billion is urgently needed to prevent millions of people from becoming food insecure due to the pandemic. Ceres2030 highlights that with the right policies and long-term investments in social protection schemes and to build resilient food systems, governments can not only avert the COVID-19 hunger crisis, but get SDG2 back on track.

The new Ceres2030 report draws on new figures from the 2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World and the Ceres2030 economic modelling to estimate the additional public investment needed to reach the world’s most vulnerable in the wake of the pandemic.

The report is published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and Cornell University, as part of the Ceres2030: Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger project

ceres2030 graphicThe figure of $10 billion would prevent millions of people from becoming food insecure and help maintain pre-pandemic food consumption levels. Of this $10 billion, $5 billion must come from donor governments as aid, with the rest provided by developing countries themselves. 

The report estimates that if global economic growth declines by 4.8%, 95 million more people will fall into extreme poverty and be hungry in 2020. The most affected regions are likely to be Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Poverty is expected to increase by 15% in urban areas and by 11% in rural areas. 

COVID-19 has affect food security and nutrition in three main ways: falling incomes have left many people unable to buy food; disruptions to supply chains have limited production and disrupt value-chains; and panics and hoarding have increased food prices and reduce supply. Without immediate action, the report warns that decades of progress on tackling hunger could be wiped out.

The report points donors towards social protection programmes as the key investment for a COVID-19 recovery and beyond. In the short-term, social programmes will help to address the current food and hunger crisis and in the long-term, it will provide a social safety net and boost incomes for the most vulnerable.


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