The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted vulnerabilities in the world’s food supply chains. Border closures, trade restrictions and confinement measures have prevented farmers from accessing markets, and agricultural workers from harvesting crops, thus disrupting domestic and global food supply chains and reducing access to healthy, safe and diverse diets. ILO reports that the economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic could cause an increase by up to 132 million undernourished people. The impact of the crisis highlighted the need for greater action to make food production and consumption resilient and aligned to sustainable and inclusive development.
The enhancement of agricultural value chains and food systems is a central aspect of inclusive and sustainable industrialization. Through its technical cooperation activities, UNIDO supports the development of sustainable food value chains and inclusive market systems, promotes business opportunities for the rural populations and strengthens markets to enhance industrial linkages and economic transformations.
Food systems touch every aspect of human existence. The health of our food systems profoundly affects human health, environmental health, our economies and our cultures - UNIDO’s work in this area promotes employment and income opportunities, while reinforcing sustainable livelihoods.