The Council of Ministers has endorsed the COMESA COVID-19 Food and Nutrition Security Response Plan developed to help the region deal with the impacts of COVID-19 on regional food security.
The plan is designed to address immediate, short-term and medium-term food security and livelihoods needs while integrating the response effort to the long-term regional agriculture development and integration agenda.
In its 41st meeting last week, the Council noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had occasioned unprecedented disruption on the entire food supply chains: from production to processing, packaging, transportation, marketing and consumption resulting in rising staple food prices, food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and income, and increased need for social safety nets.
It directed the COMESA Secretariat to constitute a task force to monitor and evaluate the Response Plan and mobilize resources to support its implementation
Further, the Council called upon development partners, private sector and Civil Society Organizations to support the implementation of the Plan and mainstream biodiversity in all the initiatives.
To enable its successful rollout, the Council urged Member States to commit resources to implement it and develop mechanisms to address the challenges of water scarcity for production in the region.
The draft response plan was first adopted by Ministers responsible for agriculture, environment and natural resources in August this year before presentation to the Council.