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From impact to transformation – improving the food supply chains in Kuwait in the context of COVID-19 pandemic

Kuwait policy note











FAO. 2021. From impact to transformation – improving the food supply chains in Kuwait in the context of COVID-19 pandemic: Kuwait policy note. Rome.



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    Measures adopted around the world to contain the COVID-19 outbreak helped curb the spread of the virus and lowered the pressure on health systems. However, they also affected the global trading system, and the supply and demand of agricultural and food products. In response to concerns over food security and food safety worldwide, many countries reacted immediately to apply policy measures aiming to limit potentially adverse impacts on domestic markets. Covering the first half of 2020, the report provides an overview of short-term changes in trade patterns and policy measures related to agricultural trade that countries adopted in response to the pandemic. Despite the shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures, the efforts of governments and agricultural sector stakeholders to keep agricultural markets open and trade flowing smoothly contributed to remarkably resilient value chains. Effects on global trade in food and agriculture remained limited to short-term disruptions at the very beginning of the pandemic. Governments’ policy responses covered a wide range of measures, including export restrictions, lowering of import barriers, and domestic measures. Most of the trade restricting measures were short-lived. International political commitments were pivotal in the coordination of a global response to the crisis and in deterring countries from taking unilateral measures that could have harmed food security in other parts of the world. However, COVID-19 is still spreading and may entail severe implications for access to food and longer-term shifts in global demand and supply of food and agricultural commodities.
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    Measures adopted around the world to contain the COVID-19 outbreak helped curb the spread of the virus and lowered the pressure on health systems. However, they also affected the global trading system, and the supply and demand of agricultural and food products. In response to concerns over food security and food safety worldwide, many countries reacted immediately to apply policy measures aiming to limit potentially adverse impacts on domestic markets. Covering the first half of 2020, this policy brief provides an overview of short-term changes in policy measures related to agricultural trade that countries adopted in response to the pandemic.
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    Food safety guidelines: Keeping workers safe along the food supply chain in acutely food insecure contexts
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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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