Cities and Local Governments at the Forefront in Building Inclusive and Resilient Food Systems: Key Results from the FAO Survey “Urban Food Systems and COVID-19"

Publication language
Date published
13 Nov 2020
Research, reports and studies
Local capacity, Markets, Disaster preparedness, resilience and risk reduction, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Food and nutrition, Food security, Government, Recovery and Resillience, Urban

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting urban food systems worldwide, affecting the food security and nutrition of urban populations. With up to 70% of the global food supply destined for urban consumption, the disruption of urban food systems has particularly affected the food distribution and the food retail sectors. The management of the crisis by city and local governments can therefore play a major role in preventing the spread of the virus and, at the same time, in mitigating the disruptions in their food systems and any negative effects on vulnerable populations. It was consequently deemed very important for FAO to map the municipal responses to the emergency, and to analyze progress and setbacks in managing disruptions in the urban food systems and related implications for food security and nutrition. Such understanding will strengthen the evidence-base on which countries will build policies and programmes dealing with the crisis and its effects. It will also provide valuable information on how to strengthen the performance and resilience of urban food systems.

In an effort to better understand how city and local governments faced the challenges of food systems disruptions associated with COVID-19, information was collected through a survey of relevant stakeholders. The survey questionnaire was administered between April and May 2020 . 860 urban actors returned the completed questionnaire, 56% of which were members of local governments while the rest of the respondents were members of academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and national governments.