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COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa: New IDRC-funded projects to assess impact on food systems

December 8, 2020
The International Development Research Centre is launching five new research initiatives aimed at assessing COVID-19’s impact on food systems and informing responses to alleviate the impacts of future shocks such as COVID-19 on nutrition and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A customer in a mask purchasing fruits from a masked vendor at a local market.
World Bank Group

Funded under IDRC’s Rapid Research Response Initiative, these projects are intended to produce results that can inform the development or implementation of more efficient and equitable policy and actions to minimize or alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 on nutrition and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa and, in particular, in West Africa and the Sahel.

Of the 18 organizations targeted by IDRC for funding, five were selected for their capacity to document interventions in real time and share lessons widely for effective responses from government and donor agencies to future shocks such as COVID-19.

These newly funded research initiatives will, over the course of the next 12 months, focus on:

  1. assessing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic through social protection and the strengthening of local food systems - the case of the Niayes in Senegal, an initiative led by Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR);
  2. assessing the impacts of COVID-19 responses on food systems and livelihoods by governments in the Sahel - an initiative led by the Conseil ouest et centre africain pour la recherche et le développement agricoles (CORAF);
  3. supporting the definition and implementation of relevant and sustainable measures to respond to the effects of COVID-19 in the livestock sector in West and Central Africa - an initiative led by the Association pour la Promotion de l'Élevage au Sahel et en Savane (APESS);
  4. assessing the impacts of COVID-19 responses on the political economy of African food systems - an initiative led by the University of Western Cape (PLAAS); and
  5. assessing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the pillars of food security and opportunities for reconfiguring unequal gender relations in Burkina Faso and Senegal - an initiative led by the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI).

More information on each of these initiatives can be found here.