The impact of disasters and crises on agriculture and food security

  • 18/03/2021
  • FAO

Agriculture absorbs the bulk of the financial losses and damages wrought by disasters which have grown in frequency, intensity, and complexity, says FAO in a new report. At no other point in history have agri-food systems confronted with such an array of new and unprecedented threats, including megafires, extreme weather, unusually large desert locust swarms, and emerging biological threats like the COVID-19 pandemic. These hazards not only take lives but also devastate agricultural livelihoods and inflict cascading negative economic consequences at the household, community, national and regional levels that can endure for generations, the report says. According to the report, annual occurrence of disasters is now more than three times that of the 1970s and 1980s. Relative to agriculture, industry, commerce and tourism taken as a whole, on its own agriculture absorbs the disproportionate share of 63 percent of impact from disasters, with the least developed countries (LDCs) and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) bearing the major brunt of these scourges.

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