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Safeguarding the right to adequate food during pandemics and emergencies: lessons from COVID-19

Date of Publication: 
Lundi, mai 20, 2024
About This Publication: 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security and nutrition continues to constitute a global emergency. The pandemic pushed global food commodity prices to a ten-year high, impacting people and communities that were already vulnerable and negatively affecting food security and nutrition on a large scale.

This issue brief draws on the main findings of research conducted by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on safeguarding the right to adequate food in the context of COVID-19. It analyses case studies from 40 countries and the European Union to highlight innovative legislative and regulatory trends that could be used as best practices to promote reforms. Building on key findings from IDLO and FAO’s joint research, the issue brief provides recommendations for decision-makers on mitigating the impact of emergencies on the right to adequate food at the national level, using a rule of law and a human rights-based approach. These include the need to:

  1. Guarantee legal and constitutional protection for the right to adequate food.
  2. Support transparent and accountable institutions to ensure access to justice for people claiming their right to adequate food.
  3. Ensure that emergency responses in support of food security comply with human rights standards and protect civic space.
  4. Eliminate discriminatory laws and adopt gender-responsive measures that empower women and girls in all their diversity to claim their rights and participate fully in emergency decision-making and implementation at all levels.
  5. Ensure that legal measures adopted during emergencies are conducive to inclusive, equitable and resilient agrifood systems.


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