11 international organizations join hands to secure food systems, agriculture, and trade during the COVID-19 pandemic

Food and agriculture heads of international organizations for Latin America and the Caribbean agreed to work together in support of the agriculture and food systems.

April 9, 2020, Santiago, Chile ‚ÄstEleven international organizations agreed to pool their efforts to help Latin American and Caribbean countries secure their food systems and maintain agriculture and food trade during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the International Regional Organization for Plant and Animal Health (OIRSA, in Spanish), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Food Program (WFP) agreed on the following five major points.

Joint work: to coordinate their actions to better assist governments, the 11 agencies established a virtual communication and information platform. They agreed to meet every two weeks to review their work and plan for the future.

Advocacy: joint work in this regard will focus on keeping agri-food trade alive, the expansion of social protection schemes to ensure the food security of the poor and vulnerable, common and science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards, and increased intra-regional trade.

Analysis and technical assistance: the agencies will coordinate their analysis and technical assistance to support the design and implementation of measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on food and agriculture. This work will include options to accelerate the recovery of agriculture and food systems when the pandemic begins to recede.

Monitoring: the agencies agreed to share and coordinate the monitoring efforts being done by each one of them on different aspects of the COVID-19 effects on food and agriculture. This includes areas such as logistics (ports, wholesale markets, distribution chains), input supply production, food safety, food stocks and prices, as well as key social and economic variables (food insecurity, rural poverty).

Dialogue: the agencies will work together to promote public dialogue and exchange of good practices across countries and sectors, for example, through online webinars.

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