Global food shortage could appear in weeks, warns FAO
UN's Food and Agriculture Organization warns about the risk of a global food shortage in the following months, as restrictive measures applied in the fight against covid-19 and protectionist policies taken by several countries around the globe are disrupting the global food trade on a massive scale.
The Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), QU Dongyu, today urged leaders from the G20 countries to take measures for global food systems to continue to work well, particularly in relation to access to food for the world's poor and most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting food systems and all dimensions of food security across the world. No country is immune. We have to ensure that food value chains are not disrupted and continue to function well and promote the production and availability of diversified, safe and nutritious food for all", said FAO's head.
The Director-General said lockdowns and restrictions on movement could disrupt food production, processing, distribution and sales, both nationally and globally, with the potential to have an "immediate and severe" impact on those restricted by mobility.
Dongyu Qu said global food markets are well supplied but there is growing concern and that measures should be taken to ensure that both national food markets and the world market continue to be a transparent, stable and reliable source of food supply.
Referring to the 2007-08 global food price crisis, FAO's Director-General said uncertainty at that time triggered a wave of export restrictions by some countries, while others started importing food aggressively. Qu said this contributed to excessive price volatility, which was damaging for low-income food-deficit countries.
A slowdown in production and distribution has already been reported in the EU markets, where suppliers from Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Poland are complaining from bottlenecks created at national borders and the lack of personnel. In some cases, meat processed in some countries around the globe have been contained to cover the domestic demand, ignoring some export orders.
The US meat industry may need the rest of the year to get back on track with processing capacitie...