Pandemic and Food Security
A View from the Global South
Keywords:Pandemic, COVID-19, Global South, Public Health, Food Security, Hunger
“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”
Like many modern day viral epidemics (e.g., MERS, SARS), SARS-CoV-2 emerged from the folds of the food system. The dominant narrative puts its earliest appearance in the wet market of the Chinese city of Wuhan, where wild animals are also traded. However, there are indications that SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, may have developed in intensive livestock farming systems, possibly pig farming (GRAIN, 2020).
Not only did the virus originate from the food system, but it also penetrated it and exposed its systemic weaknesses. The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are now threatening the food security of billions of people. Indeed, after initial reassurances that COVID-19 posed no concerns to global food security, as the world’s silos were well stocked (Vos, Martin, & Laborde, 2020), the tone has now changed radically. We are now being warned that global hunger could double due to food supply disruptions caused by the pandemic, especially in poor nations and in Africa (De Sousa, 2020). . . .
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