FAO, WHO and WTO: Mitigating impacts of COVID-19 on food trade and markets

FAO, WHO and WTO: Mitigating impacts of COVID-19 on food trade and markets

Heads of FAO,WHO and WTO have called countries to take efforts so that trade could go as more as possible freely in order to avoid possible unintended consequences on foodstuff supply against the background of the coronavirus pandemic.

«As countries move to enact measures aiming to halt the accelerating COVID-19 pandemic, care must be taken to minimize potential impacts on the food supply or unintended consequences on global trade and food security», – as underlined in the statement.

According to heads of three international organisations, operating for the purpose of protection of health and well-being of citizens, the countries should achieve that any trading measures should be taken without disrupting the work of chain of deliveries of foodstuffs. As they noted, «Such disruptions including hampering the movement of agricultural and food industry workers and extending border delays for food containers, result in the spoilage of perishables and increasing food waste. Food trade restrictions could also be linked to unjustified concerns on food safety».

In the statement it is also said that it is also critical that food producers and food workers at processing and retail level are protected to minimize the spread of the disease within this sector and maintain food supply chains. Consumers, in particular the most vulnerable, must continue to be able to access food within their communities under strict safety requirements.

«We must ensure that our response to COVID-19 does not unintentionally create unwarranted shortages of essential items and exacerbate hunger and malnutrition», – as the statement summed up.