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Informing future responses to shocks and pandemics by drawing lessons from COVID-19’s impact on food systems

December 8, 2020

Five recently funded projects will examine the impact of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa. Funded by IDRC’s Rapid Research Response Initiative, these projects are intended to produce results that can inform the development or implementation of more efficient and equitable actions and policy to minimize or alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 on nutrition and food security in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular in West Africa and the Sahel.

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated numerous challenges for the food and nutrition security of the world’s most vulnerable populations. In many regions, national lockdowns and social distancing measures adopted to control the spread of the virus are limiting the distribution of agricultural inputs and the labour force, constraining agricultural production and supply chains, and threatening the livelihoods of large segments of the population.

IDRC’s recently approved CA$4 million initiative in sub-Saharan Africa will support the documentation and analysis of the efficacy of various responses to the current COVID-19 pandemic in the region (specifically in the Sahel) and learn from the actions taken to control the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact on food systems. Over the course of the next 12 months, projects in Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania will generate knowledge to inform the design of longer-term research initiatives in low- and middle-income countries. They will also strengthen their capacity to respond to subsequent waves of the epidemic and potential future shocks and pandemics.

Read more about the five new Rapid Research Response on COVID-19 projects