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International Relations

Threat of Food Shortage: UN, FAO and WTO

  • 02 Apr 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Recently, global agencies like the United Nations (UN), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) have warned the world of food shortage risk worldwide if authorities fail to manage the Covid-19 pandemic properly.

Key Points

  • Major Reasons
    • Lockdowns: Many governments around the world have put their populations on lockdown causing severe slow-downs in international trade and food supply chains.
    • Travel restrictions: Confinement orders and travel restrictions cause disruptions in agricultural production due to the unavailability of agricultural labour and the inability to get food to markets.
      • Such disruptions result in the spoilage of perishables and increasing food waste.
    • Food Availability: Uncertainty about food availability can create a shortage on the global market.
    • Fragile Supply Chains: Panic buying by people for social isolation has already demonstrated the fragility of supply chains.
  • Suggestions
    • Every effort must be made to ensure free trade flows amidst this crisis to avoid food shortage(s) from developing.
    • When acting to protect the health and well-being of their citizens, countries should ensure that any trade-related measures do not disrupt the food supply chain.
    • There is a need to protect employees engaged in food production, processing and distribution, both for their own health and that of others, as well as to maintain food supply chains.
    • Efforts should be made for the betterment of international cooperation.

Source: TH

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