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Crop Biotech Update

More Countries Join the COVID-19 Food Coalition

August 5, 2020

More countries are joining the COVID-19 Food Coalition led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The initiative, which was launched in June by the Government of Italy, aims to tackle medium and long-term adverse impacts of the pandemic on food systems and agriculture. As of July 31, 2020, 35 nations from all over the globe have joined or expressed their interest to support the Coalition.

"In response to the current emergency, the Food Coalition will support existing FAO efforts to help countries get back on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals on reducing hunger and malnutrition," said FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol. "We encourage all our members to join this initiative - an exemplary approach to leveraging high-level capital and political will to avoid an escalation of the pandemic from a health crisis to a food crisis."

FAO estimates that at the start of the year, almost 690 million people went to bed hungry, with 135 million on the brink of starvation, even before the pandemic took a toll on global food systems and livelihoods of millions of people.

To lessen the effect of the current pandemic, the Coalition will promote resilient and sustainable food production systems, improve nutrition, increase agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, especially women, youth, indigenous peoples, and family farmers.

Read more information from FAO.

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