Monthly Newsletter March Edition
The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Food Security in
Messay Mulugeta (Ph.D.)
Associate Professor of Socioeconomic Development, Food Security and
Environmental Studies, at College of Development Studies (Addis Ababa
Reviewed and Edited by Gedion G. Jalata,
CEO, Center of Excellence International Consult Plc
This article is meant for drawing the attention of the government, policymakers, and researchers to the food security situations in Ethiopia along and after the COVID-19
pandemic tunnel. Ethiopia is a country with a total population of more than 110 million, of which about 80% of the total population is engaged in subsistence farming in rural areas (CSA 2017). Poverty and food insecurity are still significant challenges in Ethiopia. The causes of food insecurity are multiple and varied, including, but not limited to, extreme weather conditions, environmental degradations, population pressure, less but improving government dedication, and policy drawbacks. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic might aggravate the already-precarious food security situations, both along and at the end of the COVID19 pandemic.
The fact that COVID-19 spreads (according to WHO’s series of briefings) primarily through coughing/sneezing and touching of the virus-infected surfaces makes the disease so dangerous for the people to engage in daily livelihoods activities. This shows that COVID-19 spreads so quickly, unlike the other previous pandemics (such
as HIV/AIDS), making the economic activities so challenging at international, national, and local levels. Hence, poor economic performance could be an outcome of the pandemic (in addition to other adverse impacts) as it impacts almost every single business and individual, which in turn aggravates the existing poverty and food insecurity situations of the country.
As noted by FAO (http://www.fao.org/news/story/en), our most vulnerable communities may face ‘a crisis within a crisis’ owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ethiopia, whose medical system is under-resourced and the economy is subsistence, the health crisis of the people may be compounded by ‘lost livelihoods and hunger crisis’ unless concerned government organizations and individuals implement the pandemic protection guideline most immediately and adequately.
Economic Development in Developing Countries: Some New Trends By Prof. Minquan Liu, Professor of Economics, Honorary Director of Center for Human and Economic Development Studies, Peking University
The rapid emergence and expansion of regional and global production chains, powered by increased deepening and intensification of production fragmentations, has fundamentally reshaped the conditions for industrialization and economic development for many developing countries and economies. No longer do they have to compete with one another, and with developed countries, by producing whole products; they now need only be good at producing some components, or sub-components, of them. This at once lowers the technological thresholds facing a country, and offers its small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) great scope of integrating with the regional and global chains. Some of the most spectacular economic development successes in the world in recent decades (e.g. that of China) can, at least in part, be attributed to this fact. And the same should holds true for other developing countries and economies—those that, as it were, have not yet been able to benefit much from the change. This paper first explains what has been so fundamental that has had critical implications for the world regime of production, and for that reason for the conditions for and opportunities of industrialization and economic development for the vast reach of developing countries and economies. It then highlights the key changes in the conditions for and opportunities of industrialization for these countries. However, these improved conditions and opportunities also bring with them increased possibilities and levels of shocks and risks, which the paper then explores.