Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition

United Nations

This UN brief examines the COVID-19 pandemic's threats to food security and nutrition of millions of people around the world and suggests three mutually reinforcing sets of priority actions to address the immediate, near- and medium-term needs to protect people during and beyond the crisis, and – ultimately – to reshape and build resilient food systems:

  • First, mobilize to save lives and livelihoods, focusing attention where the risk is most acute.
  • Second, strengthen social protection systems for nutrition.
  • Third, invest in a sustainable future

The brief notes that it is essential to recognize that those people most vulnerable to food and nutrition crisis in the context of COVID-19 are those who were already exposed to critical food and dietary deprivations before the onset of the crisis. Those most vulnerable include children missing out on school meals; families living in poverty, people receiving nutritional care services such as women and children in the first thousand days from conception, the sick, older people, and people with special needs; refugees and displaced people; and children separated from their mothers or caretakers for any reason, among many others.