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COVID-19 and the impact on food security in the Near East and North Africa: How to respond?











​FAO. 2020. COVID-19 and the impact on food security in the Near East and North Africa: How to respond? Cairo.



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    Europe and Central Asia: Regional food market situation and policy bulletin in response to the COVID-19 pandemic 2020
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    According to the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), cereal production in 2019 and the estimated closing stock in 2019/20 are both near record highs and supplies in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) and around the world are estimated to be sufficient. As a result, global cereal markets are expected to remain balanced and comfortable despite worries over the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, localized disruptions, largely due to logistical issues, have caused some snarls in food distribution systems and food supply chains in some domestic markets. Though the anticipated duration and magnitude of these disruptions are unlikely to significantly affect global food markets, the regional and national food markets need to be monitored closely.
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    Crop Prospects and Food Situation, No.3, 8 October 2015 2015
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    World cereal supply and demand balance in the 2015/16 marketing season is likely to remain in a generally comfortable situation. While world cereal production is expected to fall below last year’s record, supplies will be almost sufficient to meet the projected demand, requiring only a small reduction in global inventories by the end of the season. AFRICA: Aggregate 2015 cereal production is forecast to decline mostly on account of poor prospects in East Africa and an expected reduced output i n Southern Africa. Average crops are foreseen in West and Central Africa, while a recovery in North Africa’s production averted a sharper regional decline. In East Africa, pockets of starvation have been reported in some conflict-affected areas of South Sudan calling for urgent and concerted efforts to avert a disaster. In addition, food security conditions deteriorated in Southern Africa, while persistent and disruptive conflicts in parts of Central, East and West Africa continue to devastate t he agricultural sector and acutely impact on food security conditions. ASIA: Despite a forecast increase in the 2015 aggregate regional cereal harvest, mainly as result of a record output forecast in China, dry weather diminished production in India and several countries of the Far East subregion. In the Near East, a production recovery is foreseen from last year’s drought-affected output, but conflicts in Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen continue to aggravate the humanitarian crisis. LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: El Niño-associated dry weather conditions have sharply reduced crop production forecasts in Central America and the Caribbean. On the other hand, record maize harvests are estimated in South America and Mexico, while a bumper wheat output is also forecast in South America. Strong El Niño predicted to persist into early 2016. El Niño-related dry weather patterns have already adversely impacted on production in parts of Asia and Central America and the Caribbe an. The expected prevalence and continuation of El Niño-associated weather patterns into 2016 have raised alarms in many parts of the world where the cropping season has started or is about to start, including parts of Asia and Southern Africa. FAO estimates that, globally, 35 countries, including 28 in Africa, are in need of external assistance for food.
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    Southern Madagascar | Response overview (October 2021) 2021
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    An exceptionally prolonged drought in southern Madagascar most likely due to the effects of climate change compounded by multiple other shocks has led to a hunger crisis in the region. The long lean season and sandstorms have resulted in the second consecutive year of poor harvests, significantly affecting households’ livelihoods and food security.The humanitarian situation has been exacerbated by the adverse effects of COVID‑19 and related containment measures, which disrupted market supply chains. Price increases of basic foodstuffs were also recorded, leaving many families who have depleted their reserves unable to buy food in the market. Insecurity in parts of the deep south, as well as the resurgence of various crop and animal pests and diseases – a new outbreak of Rift Valley fever and a looming threat of locusts – have also led to worrying levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in the region. Vulnerable households struggle to access food and income. Many are forced to adopt negative coping mechanisms such as selling productive assets and reducing the quantity, frequency and quality of meals, with some communities resorting to consuming almost exclusively wild foods. Finally, if the Malagasy migratory locust outbreak is not contained, it would result in a major upsurge, threatening larger areas across the country. Unpredictable consequences would further worsen the already alarming situation in the Grand Sud, where people are experiencing high levels of food insecurity. Curbing the spread of the locusts and scaling up livelihoods assistance to provide affected households with essential inputs during the main agricultural season is key to allow them to quickly produce food, generate income and strengthen their resilience.

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