UNFSS Science Days Side Event: COVID-19, food systems, and One Health in an urbanizing world: Research responses at a national level

Date: July 6, 2021
Time: 09:30 – 11:00 AM EDT
Location: Virtual event.
Register: Register here. (CLOSED) Recording is available here.

COVID-19’s relentless march across the globe and subsequent lockdowns and restrictions have affected the lives of women and men everywhere, far beyond health impacts alone. Fragilities in food systems, market access, trade, rural-urban mobility, agricultural labor, food security, diet diversity, inequities between genders, and the critical connections between human, animal, and environmental health were exposed, particularly in and around the rapidly-growing cities in low- and middle-income countries.

The evolving evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on urban food systems, and on the myriad of responses, reveals important insights into vulnerabilities and inequities, but also into lessons and possible solutions for strengthening the resilience of these systems. As decision makers gather for the UN Food Systems Summit, the global community has a unique opportunity to draw upon science to inform future actions on food security, One Health, and the (re)building of resilient and equitable food systems.

This event, organised by RUAF and CGIAR, brings together scientists and national stakeholders to identify key lessons from the pandemic, highlighting how technologies and policies in the agri-food sector can help improve food and nutrition security for the world’s growing urban populations and contribute to sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.


Opening Remarks

Claudia Sadoff, Executive Management Team Convener and Managing Director, Research Delivery and Impact, CGIAR


Christophe Béné, Principal Scientist, Sustainable Food Systems, the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT CGIAR Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

Responding Presenter

Rene van Veenhuizen, Senior Programme Officer, RUAF


  • Saro Abdella, TB and HIV Research Directorate Director, EPHI
  • Silvia Alonso Alvarez, Senior Scientist Epidemiologist, CGIAR International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
  • Kwaw Andam, Country Program Leader and Research Fellow, IFPRI
  • Simon Heck, RTB’s Flagship Project 4 Leader, Program Leader, CGIAR International Potato Center
  • Willem Janssen, Lead Agricultural Economist in the South Asia Region, World Bank Group
  • Ibrahim Mohammed, Assistant Director, Department of Planning and Policy Coordination, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria

Closing Remarks

John McDermott, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, IFPRI


Vivian Atakos, Regional Communication Specialist, International Potato Center (CIP)