- Wednesday | 19 May, 2021
- Rana Junaid Zahid
- Research Reports,Project Publications
Background: The overall impact of COVID-19 on food security and agricultural food systems was not known in the initial phases of COVID-19. However, during the last five months of unfolding of the diseases in Pakistan, COVID-19’s effect on lives and livelihoods, more so for the poor, is gradually turning economic access to food for masses difficult. According to World Bank Group, South Asian countries may face food security challenges both in terms of supply and demand if not properly managed especially for marginalized sections in the society. Pakistan is no exception to it. Already it is understood that food insecurity as per National Nutrition Survey 2018 is 36% – almost matching the poverty numbers (39%). These numbers are now set to deteriorate given current circumstances. Although currently, the virus spread in Pakistan seems to be under control, the novelty of this disease has brought uncertainty. Any surge in cases and resultant restriction on mobility may lead to strain the food system in countless ways in the coming weeks and months. All of this will have, and is already having, significant negative effects on food supply chain, which is a complex web of interactions and of actors: inputs, producers, processors, marketers, transporters, storage, consumers, etc.