You are here

Available in: EnglishEspañol

Food systems and COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean N° 6: Contingency plan for an eventual food supply crisis

Publication cover
Corporate author:
  • FAO
19 p. Editorial: FAO, CEPAL June 2020


If the health and economic crisis triggered by the current pandemic spreads over time, the region as a whole is likely to experience an unprecedented food supply crisis sooner or later. Such a scenario requires that we take the necessary precautions and prepare strategies to deal with a crisis of this magnitude, regardless of whether it eventually happens or not.

Every crisis requires the development of contingency plans, whose primary objective is to predefine and prepare actions in response to the multiple effects of a disaster, catastrophe or crisis. Concerning the current crisis, contingency plans will allow decision-makers to anticipate as many decisions as possible, promoting early response to warnings. Also, in the event of a worsening of the situation, it makes it easier to establish a roadmap to implement more complex policies for both importing and exporting countries, such as the strengthening of intraregional trade and the creation of food stocks or strategic reserves. In this edition of the bulletin, we outline a first approach to the development of a contingency plan. Needless to say, this is a preliminary exercise that will gain in depth and appropriateness as definitions become more appropriate and the range of characteristics that make each country in the region unique are considered.