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Food system policy priorities and programmatic actions for healthy diets in the context of COVID-19











FAO. 2020. Food system policy priorities and programmatic actions for healthy diets in the context of COVID-19. Rome. 



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    Book (series)
    Africa regional overview of food security and nutrition 2020: Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets 2021
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    Africa is not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 targets to end hunger and ensure access by all people to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food all year round and to end all forms of malnutrition. The number of hungry people on the continent has risen by 47.9 million since 2014 and now stands at 250.3 million, or nearly one-fifth of the population. The 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions of this report explain that this gradual deterioration of food security was due to conflict, weather extremes, and economic slowdowns and downturns, often overlapping. A continued worsening of food security is expected also for 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to hunger, across all countries in Africa millions of people suffer from widespread micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity are emerging as significant health concerns in many countries. This report shows that the food system in Africa does not provide food at a cost that makes nutritious food affordable to a majority of the population, and this is reflected in the high disease burden associated with maternal and child malnutrition, high body-mass, micronutrient deficiencies, and dietary risk factors. The report also shows that current food consumption patterns impose high health and environmental costs, which are not reflected in food prices. The findings presented in this report highlight the importance of prioritizing the transformation of food systems to ensure access to affordable and healthy diets for all, produced in a sustainable manner.
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    Booklet
    COVID-19: Channels of transmission to food and agriculture 2020
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    FAO is analysing and providing updates on the emerging COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on agricultural markets—effects that are still largely unknown. Most current assessments generally foresee a contraction in both supply of and demand for agricultural products, and point to possible disruptions in trade and logistics. On the supply side, widely different views remain on the duration of the shocks, the price dynamics, differential impacts between domestic and international markets, differences across countries and commodities, the likely paths of recovery, and the policy actions to remedy the various shock waves. On the demand side, there is near ubiquitous agreement that agricultural demand and trade would slow-down, with contractions stemming from a deceleration in overall economic activity (GDP growth) and rising rates of unemployment. While food and agricultural systems are exposed to both demand and supply side shocks (symmetric), these shocks are not expected to take place in parallel (asynchronous) since, inter alia, consumers can draw on savings, food stocks and safety nets.
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    Policy brief
    Private sector and healthy diets: highlights from 2020 multi-stakeholder roundtables
    aug/21
    2021
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    The State of Food Security and Nutrition Report 2020 indicates how misaligned our current food systems are, with some 3 billion people around the world who cannot afford the cheapest healthy diet (FAO et al., 2020). Several other key statistics support the consensus that food systems must be transformed. The private sector, in particular micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), have a key role to play in providing the bulk of the food that people in low- and middle-income countries eat, particularly poorer households – and the great potential that exists for stakeholders from different groups to work together to improve the availability, affordability, and desirability of healthy diets. In this regard, in 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) convened a series of virtual roundtables titled “Private Sector on Healthy Diets: Everyone Around the Table. This briefing paper shares an overview of the type of policy recommendations arising from the discussions and background papers prepared for the FAO-GAIN virtual roundtables – with a focus on policy of governments as well as policy of institutions and organisations, including businesses and development partners.

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