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This blog was originally posted on IFPRI.org. It was written by Swati Malhotra and Rob Vos from IFPRI’s Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division.
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.
This piece originally appeared on IFPRI.org .
By Dennis O. Ochieng and Emily Wu
Africa’s food system has experienced rapid transformation in recent years, driven by widespread urbanization and increasing incomes. In addition, initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area have resulted in changes to market structure and functioning in an effort to spur regional trade and economic growth. These changes present new income-generating opportunities all along the agrifood value chain, from farmers to processors, traders, distributors, and the food service industry.