Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security in Jamaica

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for an active and healthy life. The COVID-19 pandemic is a significant threat to the food and nutrition security of millions globally. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020, prior to COVID-19, two billion people did not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food, and 690 million people were already undernourished; the pandemic can add as much as 132 million people to the category of undernourished in 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes a healthy diet as one that protects against malnutrition in all its forms and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. It contains a balanced, diverse and appropriate selection of foods eaten over a period of time to ensure that the macronutrient and essential micronutrient needs of an individual are met.