Increasing the resilience of populations to the impact of COVID 19 on health and nutrition

1h30min to understand the importance of nutrient-rich diets

The global COVID 19 pandemic, measures taken to reduce its spread, and the broader economic fallout have disrupted food environments around the world. As a result, food availability and access will be affected in both the short and long term. The nutritional status of vulnerable populations will greatly worsen as income poverty shifts diets towards more affordable staple foods, as fresh fruits and vegetables become less available due to disrupted food systems, and if national social protection programmes and international food relief efforts focus on providing macronutrients (calories) but not micronutrients

On Tuesday 19 May, 2020, the 2FAS team hosted a webinar for DEVCO and EU Delegation colleagues to:

  • Understand how the current COVID-19 pandemic will likely impact people’s diets and affect nutrition globally

  • Understand why it is now even more important to address micronutrient deficiencies and which interventions are most effective

  • Learn from selected EUDs about ongoing projects to improve diets and micronutrient status

(vitamins and minerals). Micronutrients are crucial to immune system function and, therefore, to increasing our resistance to infectious disease. The effects of COVID 19 on livelihoods and food systems will decrease access to the diets that provide these micronutrients, which will in turn increase vulnerability to the infection itself.

Moderator:

Speakers:

Dora Panagides, Team Leader, 2FAS

Leonard Mizzi, Head of Unit, DEVCO C1: Welcoming note/background

Saskia Osendarp, Executive Director, Micronutrient Forum: Anticipated impacts of COVID-19 on all forms of malnutrition

Florencia Vasta, Senior Associate Food Policy and Finance, GAIN: Mapping – Covid-19 risks and micronutrient deficiencies

Olivier Machiels, Programme Officer, EUD Madagascar: Strengthening sustainable access to targeted fortified foods in Madagascar

Pierre-Luc Vanhaeverbeke, Programme Manager/Nutrition Coordinator, EUD Ethiopia: Improving quality of diets for better health with nutrient enriched orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

Darrel Sexstone, Rural Development and Food Security and Nutrition Programme Manager, EUD The Gambia: The Gambia experience with industrial food fortification

Fadoi Chaouki, Policy Officer – Nutrition, DEVCO C1: Closing remarks