The current global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted food systems around the world. Food environments are where people meet the food system. Around the world people’s food environments are rapidly changing in both their external dimensions – food availability, prices, vendors- as well as personal dimensions – geographical access, affordability, convenience and desirability. These rapid food environment changes are influencing the consumers’ dietary practices and can lead to a deterioration in both individual, and country level,nutritional and health status.
People, and their health and nutrition status, are what counts. Sustainable healthy diets that contain sufficient fruits and vegetables are crucial in protecting people’s immunity. Particularly for those at risk of, or suffering from food insecurity and those with pre-existing non-communicable diseases who are at a heightened risk of becoming severely ill with the virus.
The work of UN agencies and partner organizations to promote nutrition and healthy food systems during the pandemic is continually expanding and strengthening. Contributing to the coronavirus pandemic response, the UNSCN has compiled a list of available resources and key readings with a focus on nutrition and food systems. This list will be continually updated and expanded as more resources become available.
Click to download a PDF version of this list. (Updated June 3rd)
UN AGENCIES GENERAL RESPONSE
- UN: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Continually updated);
UNSG Policy briefs
UNSG Report Shared repsonsability, global solidarity: responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 (March 2020)
- WHO: COVID-19 pandemic (Continually updated)
Latest updates on COVID-19 including daily press releases, country and technical guidance, advice for the public and research updates.
- WFP: Emergency Response and Situation Reports (Continually updated)
Latest updates on WFP’s response to COVID-19, key links and situation reports.
- UNICEF: COVID-19 – what you need to know about the virus to protect you and your family (Continually updated)
Latest news and fact based information on COVID-19, including advice for parents, teens, teachers and employees. Latest updates on Nutrition related programming, technical advise and information birefs can be found in 'Nutrition- COVID-19'.
- FAO: COVID-19 Outbreak (Continually updated)
An overview of FAO’s action in regard to the outbreak, key messages, policy tools, questions and answers. FAO's component of the Global COVID-19 Humanitarian Response Plan to address the impact of COVID-19 in food crises can be downloaded here.
- UNOPS: Dedicated COVID-19 page (Continually updated)
- UNEP: UNEP Statement on COVID-19
- UNDP: COVID-19 pandemic
Drawing on the experience with other outbreaks such as Ebola, HIV, SARS, TB and malaria, as well as their long history of working with the private and public sector, UNDP will help countries to urgently and effectively respond to COVID-19 as part of its mission to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and build resilience to crises and shocks.
- OCHA: Global humanitarian response plan COVID-19 (25 March)
Prepared by members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), including UN, other international organizations and NGOs with a humanitarian mandate, to analyse and respond to the direct public health and indirect immediate humanitarian consequences of the pandemic, particularly on people in countries already facing other crises.
- IFAD: Dedicated COVID-19 page (Continually updated)
- UNRWA: UNRWA Responds to COVID19 (Continually updated)
- UN Network on Migration COVID-19 page (Continually updated)
- FAO, IFAD, WFP and the World Bank: Joint Statement on COVID-19 Impacts on Food Security and Nutrition, on the occassion of the Extraordinary G20 Agricultual Ministers Meeting (21 April)
- Food Environments: The evolving impact on how people meet the food system (May 29th)
- Food Environments in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impacts and positive policy actions to deliver sustainable healthy diets for all (27 March)
- Addressing the impacts of COVID-19 in food crises, Humanitarian Liaison Working Group (4 May)
- Coronavirus Food Supply Chain Under Strain What to do? (24 March)
- Video: Food Supply Chains Under Strain, what to do? (26 March)
-Keeping food and agricultural systems alive - Analyses and solutions in a period of crises - COVID-19 Pandemic (Continually updated)
- Food and Agriculture Policy Decision Analysis (FAPDA)- a database of the latest food system policy decisions in response to COVID-19(continually updated)
- Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (continually updated)
- Codex Alimentarius Commission best practise guides for trade (continually updated)
FAO has produced a range of policy briefs on the impact of COVID-19 on the food system as well as guidance to mitigate the negative consequences. You can find a full list here. Topics include food supply chains, smallholder producers, urban food systems, fisheries/ aquaculture, food safety and food value chains.
- CFS Chair's Statement on COVID-19 pandemic + HLPE Interim Issues Paper on the Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition (24 March)
- CGIAR’s Response to COVID-19 (Continually updated)
- Global Food Security Cluster
- Coronavirus, impact on well-being, health, food access and food security (25 March)
- Economic and food security implications of the COVID-19 outbreak (24 March)
- WHO recommendations to reduce risk of transmission of emerging pathogens from animals to humans in live animal markets (March)
- WHO Guidance for schools, workplaces & institutions (8 April)
Both the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank have made repositories of resources relating to trade in the time of COVID-19.
PREGNANCY, BREASTFEEDING, INFANT/YOUNG CHILD FEEDING
- Breastfeeding and COVID-19 For health care workers- outlining the latest information and recommendations, including a decision tree for breastfeeding guidance (28 April)
- Information Flyer: Breastfeeding advice during the COVID-19 outbreak. (WHO-EMRO Office, March)
- Information Flyer: Breastfeeding with COVID-19, Strategies for mothers who are too unwell to breastfeed (WHO, April)
- Q&A on COVID-19, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding (18 March)
- UNICEF, GNC & GTAM
- Breastfeeding safely during the COVID-19 pandemic (28th May)
- Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) in the context of COVID-19 (30 March, continually updated)
- Management of Child Wasting in the Context of COVID-19 (27 March, continually updated)
- The Global Alliance for Vitamin A (GAVA)
- Vitamin A Supplementation: Protecting Children's Lives in the Context of COVID-19
- UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP & WHO
- Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (26 March)
Infant and Young Child Feeding Recommendations When COVID-19 is Suspected or Confirmed- a resource kit for counsellers that supports UNICEF and WHO recommendations (24 April)
SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN
- UNICEF & WFP
Details on WFP and UNICEF joint response to COVID-19 can be found here. Including publications on school food and nutrition. Supporting children's nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Interim guidance note on "Mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and nutrition of schoolchildren"
- UNICEF, WHO & IFRC
- Key Messages and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools
- Global Monitoring of School Meals during COVID-19 School Closures
(a continually updated map showing the number of children no longer receiving school meals)
- COVID-19 education, nutrition, health and well-being resource list. Compiled by UNESCO in assocation with the FRESH network (continually updated)
- The Global Child Nutrition Foundation
- The GCNF website provides up to date insights into the country level impacts and mitigation efforts to protect school aged children from malnutrition related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Nutrition Advice
- WHO (all resources contain advice on healthy eating)
- Food and nutrition tips during self-quarantine (by WHO-Europe, March)
- Nutrition Advice for Adults During the COVID-19 (By WHO-EMRO, March)
- How can I grocery shop safely in the time of COVID-19?
- How should I wash fruit and vegetables in the time of COVID-19?
- Maintaining a healthy diet during the COVID-19 Pandemic (27 March)
- 9 tips to fight food waste (March)
- Easy, Affordable and Healthy Eating Tips for Families during the COVID-19 Outbreak (31 March)
- Noncommunicable Disease
- Website on NCDs and COVID-19 (including advice for managing NCDs, health professional guidance and rapid assessment of NCD services results)
- WHO Newsflash on NCDs weekly newsletter, register here
- Addressing noncommunicable diseases in the COVID-19 respones: Interim guidance ( 6 April)
- Information note on COVID-19 and NCDs (23 March)
- NCDs and COVID-19: What you need to know (Euro)
- Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak (18 March)
- Coping with stress during the 2019 COVID-19 Outbreak (English, French, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Spanish)
- Alcohol and COVID-19: what you need to know
EMERGENCY NUTRITION RESPONSE
-Maintaining essential health services: operational guidance for the COVID-19 context- including guidance on the provision of NCD and Nutrition servies (1st June)
Interim Guidance: Community-based health care, including outreach and campaigns, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic - including guidance on provision of essential nutrition services (May 2020)
The Global Nutrition Cluster has a live website with daily nutrition and COVID-19 related updates to collate global, regional, and country level emergency updates (continually updated)
- Nutrition Coordination guidance in the context of COVID-19 (6 April)
- Joint Statement by UNICEF and GNC on the Risk of COVID-19 Complications in Children affected by Wasting (April 7th)
- UNICEF, WFP, GNC & GTAM
- Protecting Maternal Diets and Nutrition Services and Practices in the Context of COVID-19 (22 April)
- Nutrition Information Management, Surveillance and Monitoring in the Context of COVID-19 (14 April)
- COVID-19 and Nutrition Technical Brief (27 March)
- WFP's additional recommendations for the management of maternal and child malnutition prevention and treatment in the context of COVID-19 (2 April)
- Recommendations For Adjusting Food Distribution Standard Operating Procedures In The Context Of The Covid-19 Outbreak (13 March)
- Guidance for cash-based transfers in the context of the Covid-19 (13 March)
- NutritionI COVID-19: a knowledge dissemination tool to share programmatic guidance, position papers, technical notes, and emerging research and evidence being developed by UNICEF and its partners
- UN Women, WHO, IFRC and OCHA
- COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement (19 March)
A guide for risk communication and community engagement with marginalized people who are more vulnerable in emergencies.
The en-net provides a place to submit questions surrounding the emergency response to COVID-19. Current threads are grouped under nutrition programming and include infant and young child feeding, breastfeeding, prevention and treatment of MAM.
Articles and blog posts providing insights into nutrition and food systems in the response to COVID-19
Rapid assessment of service delivery for NCDs during the COVID-19 pandemic: Press Release (1 June) Preliminary Results (29th May)
- Protecting health and protecting livelihoods: a delicate balance in the era of COVID-19 (27 May)
- Shaping a holistic response to COVID-19:Protecting food systems and rural producers (9 April)
- Without food, there can be no exit from the pandemic (23 April)
- Mitigating impacts of COVID-19 on food trade and markets. Joint Statement by the Directors-General of FAO, WHO and WTO (31 March);
- School Feeding at home (April 30th)
- 5 ways to safely grocery-shop during the coronavirus pandemic (23 April)
- Risk of hunger pandemic as COVID-19 set to almost double acute hunger by end of 2020 (16 April)
- The COVID-19 Crisis and Food Systems: probable impacts and potential mitigation and adaptation responses + Table (23 March)
- Biblical, on sterois, and accross generations: The coming food and nutrition crash can be averted if we act now to counter the COVID-19 crisis (28 April)
- Will COVID-19 cause another food crisis? An early review (10 April)
- How COVID-19 may disrupt food supply chains in developing countries (2 April)
- CFS, HLPE, UNSG Special Envoy 2021 Food Systems Summit: Ensuring Food Security in the Era of COVID-19 (1 April)
- Asia United Nations Network on Nutrition (FAO, WFP, WHO and UNICEF) Joint statement on nutrition in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia and the Pacific (17 April)
- UN Secretary-General's statement on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Children (16 April)
- CGIAR A4NH: Reshaping Food Systems after COVID-19 (20 April)
Relevant Networks, Knowledge Hubs and CoPs
Scaling up Nutrition (SUN)- COVID-19 and Nutrition: a knowledge hub for members of the SUN Movement that shares articles and updates which shed light on important links between COVID-19 and nutrition, hunger, health and food systems. SUN COVID-19 and Nutrition Information Note and Key Messages.
SDG2 Advocacy Hub- SDG2 & COVID-19 Reading List: The SDG2 Advocacy Hub brings together NGOs, advocacy groups, civil society, the private sector and UN agencies to share expertise, ideas, and to collaborate on campaigns to achieve SDG2. The Secretariat has pulled together a number of thought pieces highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on food, food systems and more.
- Nutrition Connect: this initiative mobilises knowledge, share experiences, and stimulate dialogue on public private engagements (PPE) for nutrition. A special section on COVID-19 has been created to bring together news and resources related to the risks, responses and impact of COVID-19 on food systems and nutrition.
Agriculture-Nutrition COP (Ag2Nut): Join the community to connect with a global network of professionals whose work focuses on the intersection of agriculture and nutrition. Webinars discussions about COVID-19, food systems, and interaction with malnutrition are planned for early April.
Food for the Cities : Join the community to get in touch with a large group of practitioners, researchers, professors, urban and rural community leaders, technicians and professionals in diverse agency settings sharing ways in which communities, cities and national governments are organizing to address enormous economic and social transformations (in the food system) as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy: this is a global research network in agriculture and food systems for improved nutrition and health to serve as a platform for learning and sharing. They offer an open-access map of experiences, perspectives, opportunities and questions from researchers around the world about the impact of COVID-19 and other health emergencies on food systems, agriculture and nutrition.
- The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is curating a special series of blogposts analyzing the impacts of COVID-19 on national and global food and nutrition security, poverty and development.
- SFS Programme statement on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis and food systems. Read about key considerations for our food systems during this unprecedented crisis.
- International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD): a commentary that takes stock of emergency measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 and provides governments with options for avoiding a surge of investor-state claims challenging those measures.
- The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) has taken stock of the past 100 days amid the global pandemic, with a new communiqué on COVID-19 and the crisis in food systems. What are the symptoms and causes of this food crisis? Why are we in the midst of this perfect storm? What can be done immediately to avert more damage to society and the economy? And what are the structural changes we now need to protect people and planet? The report is available in EN, FR and SP.
CARE's COVID 19, Food and Nutrition Security, and Gender Equality examines how COVID19 will especially challenge women and their food and nutrition security. It also shows women can be a part of the solution if they have a seat at the table and a greater voice in decisions.