Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic for Food Security in Asia and the Pacific
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fragility of food systems in the Asia and Pacific region. International food prices have been rising since May 2020, recording 12 consecutive monthly rises since September 2011, bringing the Index only 7.6 percent below its peak value in February 2011. From the onset of the pandemic, many governments moved swiftly to keep agricultural supply chains functioning, including designating agriculture and food as an essential sector. While OECD countries were generally successful in maintaining the overall functioning of food supply chains, food insecurity risk increased in ADB’s developing member countries with estimates indicating the increase and prevalence of undernourishment in Asia from 7.9% to 9% between 2019 and 2020. Data also suggests that 42% of the population in the region cannot afford healthy diets.
In Asia-Pacific, COVID-19 impacts and challenges translate into public health concerns, high environmental pressures and greenhouse gas emissions, persistent malnutrition, and growing inequality in food access. Overweight and obesity among adults and children are rapidly rising in Asia and the Pacific than in any other region.
Part of the #ADBSustainableFood Webinar Series, the webinar discussed the challenges and desirable policy responses to ensure food security in Asia and the Pacific amidst the pandemic through food systems transformation. These discussions support knowledge exchange between and among ADB and OECD experts, policymakers, and other key stakeholders. The discussion clarified the major regional policy agenda to be discussed in the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021.
This learning event is part of the ADB Sustainable Food Webinar Series that offers a platform to discuss, share knowledge and experiences, and find out solutions and best practices that can help developing members countries build sustainable and resilient food systems and enable them to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and future disruptions.
|Date||Session / Activity||Presentation Material||Speaker(s)|
|26 Aug 2021||Opening||Remarks|
|26 Aug 2021||Opening||Remarks||Bruno Carrasco, Director General concurrently Chief Compliance Officer, SDCC, Asian Development Bank|
|26 Aug 2021||Remarks||Remarks||Marion Jansen, OECD Director for Trade and Agriculture|
|26 Aug 2021||Opening||Remarks||Rodolfo Vicerra, Under Secretary for Policy and Planning, Department of Agriculture, the Philippines|
|26 Aug 2021||Presentation 1||
Lessons Learned from Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Asia and the Pacific
|26 Aug 2021||Presentation 2||
Findings from OECD’s Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2021 – Addressing the challenges facing food systems
|26 Aug 2021||Discussant||Masao Matsumoto, Deputy Assistant Minister, Export and International Affairs, Bureau and Deputy Director-General, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan|
|26 Aug 2021||Discussant||Fermin Adriano, Special Adviser to the Secretary of Agriculture, the Philippines|
|26 Aug 2021||Discussant||Kieran Macdonell, Australia’s representative to the OECD on Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Australia|
|26 Aug 2021||Discussant||Choi-Ish Lkhasuren, Director General, Department of Food Industry Policy Coordination and Implementation, Ministry of Agriculture and Light Industry, Mongolia|
|26 Aug 2021||Discussant||Kevin Chen, Qushi Chair Professor and International Dean, Senior Research Fellow and Head of East and Central Asia Office, IFPRIChina Academy for Rural Development, Zhejiang University|
|26 Aug 2021||Closing||Remarks||Xiaohong Yang, Chief Thematic Officer, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB|
|26 Aug 2021||Closing||Remarks||Martin von Lampe, Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Agriculture and Resource Policies Division, OECD|