Industries in Depth

How is COVID-19 affecting food security?

Beatrice Di Caro
Social Media and Live Communications Lead, Digital Media, World Economic Forum
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Agriculture, Food and Beverage

On Friday 29 May 2020 we will host an online briefing with experts from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and UN Goodwill Ambassadors for IFAD Idris and Sabrina Dhowre Elba on food security in times of COVID-19.

The briefing will take place at 13:00 New York Time/ 18:00 British Summer Time/ 19:00 Central European Summer Time this Friday.

The COVID-19 pandemic could see more than a quarter of a billion people suffering from acute hunger by the end of the year unless swift action is taken to ensure food supply chains keep running, according to the World Food Programme.


The arrival of the novel coronavirus has exacerbated what was already a huge global challenge. Before the pandemic, more than 820 million people were suffering from hunger, including 110 million who were living with acute food insecurity.

About 80% of the world’s poorest and most food insecure people live in remote rural areas, many working in small-scale agriculture.

Restrictions on movement and trade mean that they cannot access markets, threatening both their lives and their livelihoods. Concern is highest for those in countries across Africa and the Middle East as the virus threatens the agricultural and informal trading networks they rely on for survival.

Join us on Friday to hear from:

  • Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Sara Mbago-Bhunu, Director of IFAD's East and Southern Africa Division
  • Sean de Cleene, Head of Future of Food; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
Joined by:
  • Idris Elba, Actor, Humanitarian and IFAD Goodwill Ambassador
  • Sabrina Dhowre Elba, Actress, Model and IFAD Goodwill Ambassador
Moderated by:
  • Adrian Monck, Managing Director, World Economic Forum
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Related topics:
Industries in DepthFood and WaterHealth and Healthcare Systems
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