October 29, 2020

How Covid has reshaped the food chain

Some images of the Covid-19 pandemic will last generations – deserted city streets, football games played in empty stadia or world leaders in face masks. For many of us, the most vivid memories may be a little closer to home: queues at the shops, talking to loved ones on mobile screens and bare aisles in the supermarket.

I live in the UK where in the early days of the pandemic, grocery store shelves emptied long before we were told to stop going to the pub, schools closed and face masks became mandatory. The severity of what was approaching only hit home for some people when the rice and pasta ran out. Other people around the world were far less fortunate than I was. In Africa, 73 million people across 36 countries are deemed acutely food-insecure as a result of Covid-19 by the World Food Programme, compared to half a million in Europe. The Democratic Republic of the Congo – already dealing with the effects of ongoing Ebola outbreaks – and South Sudan were among the worst affected by this sudden change in food supply.

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