As the COVID-19 health emergency unleashes a wider social and economic crisis, urgent action must go beyond ensuring the flow of food supplies. A broader range of measures are necessary to ensure food security, in this crisis and beyond, says FIAN International, together with other organizations, in a statement.
While acknowledging that governments must coordinate closely to guard against interruptions in food supplies, the organizations underline that “it is necessary to ensure that these measures do not undermine the food security, the health and the livelihoods of those who produce food for the world”.
“The urgent crisis measures should not distract from the equally urgent need to rebuild on new foundations a food system which is strip mining the soil, polluting water, rapidly destroying biodiversity, driving the climate crisis and incubating future pandemics. The food system is highly vulnerable to shock because of its dependence on external inputs and long supply chains. Local food systems cannot thrive when farmers are discouraged from saving and exchanging seeds. Shocks are amplified when national systems of food reserves are dismantled under pressure, even though these reserves never enter into international trade. The world can lurch from crisis to crisis, or we can begin now to start building the resilient, sustainable food system the world desperately needs”, reads the statement.
In the view of the signing organizations, the UN Committee on World Food Security, the most inclusive body where the constituencies most affected by hunger and malnutrition can participate in shaping intergovernmental decisions about the best right to food policies, must be behind the coordination of a coherent global policy response.