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Multiple studies have documented the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the poor and vulnerable. Over the past decade, rigorous evaluations have shown Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) yielding positive results in addressing household poverty and food insecurity in the low-income districts it targets. As the pandemic suddenly raised economic stresses on poor households, a new study by Kibrom Abay, Guush Berhane, John Hoddinott, and Kibrom Tefere shows the PSNP has been effective in blunting those impacts.
The COVID-19 pandemic is undermining food and nutrition security on a global scale. IFPRI estimates show that globally, 80-140 million people were at risk of falling into extreme poverty in 2020, more than half in Africa south of the Sahara. The World Food Programme estimated that globally, the number of people facing acute food insecurity could double in the same period. These impacts—stemming from lost incomes due to lockdowns, fear of exposure, and medical expenses, as well as disruptions in food markets and value chains—are severely testing social protection systems in many countries.
Agricultural mechanization has many benefits for developing countries: It raises productivity and lowers costs, makes supply chains more efficient, and is more environmentally friendly than traditional farming techniques. Mechanization is key for Africa’s agricultural transformation, which must adapt to the needs of urbanizing populations, increased food demand, and rising rural wages.
Nigeria continues to face high rates of chronic childhood undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, and overweight / obesity: otherwise known as the triple burden of malnutrition. The culprit? Poor dietary quality.
Millions of people in Africa rely on informal trade for their livelihoods. In some African countries, the share of informal exports nearly surpasses the share of formal exports. Nevertheless, data surrounding informal trade remains scarce. This problem of invisibility makes it difficult for researchers and policy makers to understand the realities of informal trade, including the daily challenges and precarious existence that traders—particularly women—face.