The impact of disasters and crises on agriculture and food security: 2021

As the third edition of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report on the impact of disasters and crises on agriculture and food security is released, global disaster risk governance is facing a critical period. While capping off a decade of exacerbated disaster loss, exceptional global heat, retreating ice and rising sea levels, 2020 has also added new challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.

On top of a decade of exacerbated disaster loss, exceptional global heat, retreating ice and rising sea levels, humanity and our food security face a range of new and unprecedented hazards, such as megafires, extreme weather events, desert locust swarms of magnitudes previously unseen, and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Agriculture underpins the livelihoods of over 2.5 billion people – most of them in low-income developing countries – and remains a key driver of development. At no other point in history has agriculture been faced with such an array of familiar and unfamiliar risks, interacting in a hyperconnected world and a precipitously changing landscape. 

And agriculture continues to absorb a disproportionate share of the damage and loss wrought by disasters. Their growing frequency and intensity, along with the systemic nature of risk, are upending people’s lives, devastating livelihoods and jeopardising our entire food system. 

The FAO report “The impact of disasters and crises on agriculture and food security: 2021” makes a powerful case for investing in resilience and disaster risk reduction – especially data gathering and analysis for evidence informed action – to ensure agriculture’s crucial role in achieving the future we want.

(FAO/wi)

Reference:

FAO. 2021. The impact of disasters and crises on agriculture and food security: 2021. Rome.

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