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Information and tools for young agricultural workers during COVID-19 crisis











​FAO. 2020. Information and tools for young agricultural workers during COVID-19 crisis. Rome.




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    Food safety guidelines: Keeping workers safe along the food supply chain in acutely food insecure contexts
    Webinar – 30 June 2021: Summary points, questions and answers
    2021
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    Keeping food and food workers safe is even more complex during a global pandemic crisis and all stakeholders must contribute to maintaining 360 degree oversight of every aspect of the food supply chain. Workers in the food supply chain play an indispensable role in sustaining the movement of food along the supply chain. Therefore, keeping workers, production facilities, transport infrastructure and all other areas in the supply chain safe, is critical for mitigating the impacts of this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in a longstanding partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), is involved in a range of initiatives to support global food safety and protect the health of both consumers and workers. As part of the comprehensive COVID-19 response and recovery programme, FAO and its partners are working to prevent the pandemic from disrupting food systems. While COVID-19 is not transmitted by food products, disruptions precipitated by the primary and secondary effects of the pandemic have put food supplies at risk all over the world, while simultaneously raising awareness on food safety-related issues. Concerted efforts on the food supply chain and more specifically the health and safety of workers, will help the most food insecure countries mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and boost resilience for the long term by facilitating food and agricultural trade, preventing the spreading of any future zoonotic pandemic and helping the transition of the food systems towards sustainability. FAO, in the publication "Food safety in the time of COVID-19", provides sound principles of environmental sanitation, personal hygiene and established food safety practices to reduce the likelihood that harmful pathogens will threaten the safety of the food supply. Additionally, component IV of FAO’s COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan is supporting awareness raising and sensitization campaigns among food workers at all levels. Against this background, the webinar aimed at bringing together an array of diverse partners and experts to discuss issues surrounding occupational health and safety risks along the food supply chain. The discussion focused on food safety guidelines as well as the experiences and learnings from different contexts among the most acutely food insecure countries.
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    Protecting agricultural workers through remote COVID-19 awareness campaigns in Pakistan
    Using digital media and distanced messaging to promote virus mitigation and combat misinformation
    2020
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    The continuing COVID-19 pandemic—and related lockdowns—triggered a massive cash crisis around the world for families who depend on informal earnings, including daily wage workers. In Pakistan, a nationwide lockdown was imposed on 21 March 2020. This had major reverberations on the food supply chain and agriculture sector, where restrictive measures threatened the livelihoods of workers and smallholder farmers. In total, as of 12 July 2020, there were 248 872 confirmed cases throughout Pakistan. Lockdown-related challenges have created new threats to public health, with communities struggling to adhere to restrictions while still securing food for their families. Overall, society’s most vulnerable and food insecure segments have been disproportionately affected by the immediate impacts of lockdown measures, which include sudden unemployment, food price shocks, disruptions in marketing and food trade, logistics and production, and upended labor migration patterns. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Pakistan, together with partners, delivered both physical and remote sensitization messages: field-based resources—including close to 80 000 materials printed and distributed by over 300 000 frontline workers—were complemented with remote communication technologies, ranging from social media posts, local radio broadcasts, and newly modified online components to the Farmer Field School (FFS) platform.
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    Impact of COVID-19 on informal workers 2020
    The COVID-19 pandemic is a major economic and labour market shock, presenting significant impacts in terms of unemployment and underemployment for informal workers. In rural areas, the livelihoods of especially the self-employed and wage workers are at risk, because agri-food supply chains and markets are being disrupted due to lockdowns and restrictions of movement. Families might resort to negative coping strategies such as distress sale of assets, taking out loans from informal moneylenders, or child labour. Specific groups of workers, including women, youth, children, indigenous people, and migrant workers, who are overrepresented in the informal economy, will experience further exacerbation of their vulnerability. Response measures should foster the expansion of social protection coverage to informal workers in agriculture and rural sectors, including timely cash transfers, food or in-kind distributions. Specific measures should be tailored towards women workers with care responsibilities at home, families that may resort to child labour as a coping strategy, as well as other vulnerable subgroups. Efforts should be made to maintain agricultural supply chains and strengthen the market linkages for local producers, while promoting decent work.

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