Centre for International Environmental Studies
02 July 2020

COVID-19 and Food Security

On the 24th of June, our co-Director Timothy Swanson  moderated an online event on COVID19 and Food Security with Máximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist and Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department at the FAO.

On account of wide-ranging supply chains and migrant labourers, traffic restrictions around borders can generate significant risks within the food supply system, resulting in local price spikes and significant food wastage. These impacts are felt most profoundly by the poorest segments of most societies who are disproportionately affected by higher food prices and labour movement restrictions. These food security risks are a very real part of the problem of pandemic management. The Chief Economist of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) will discuss the potential impact of transboundary risk management on the problems of food security. 

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the global economy which is delivering a dual shock to supply and demand in quick succession. In addition, it is a serious threat to food security as the access will be limited due to COVID-19 even though there is enough food for all individuals. As a result, around 16 countries have restricted their export due to the pandemic. This will lead countries in finding alternatives in producing food as well as improving their capacity in delivering it to the people. 

This event was organised in partnership with FAO Liaison Office Geneva and with the support of the Graduate Institute’s Centre for International Environmental Studies.