COVID 19 Economic and Health Impacts on Regional Food and Nutrition Security

Increased reprioritisation of national expenditure towards control of COVID19 will affect allocations to other sectors such as agriculture which would have long-term effects on food production and supply. The economic fallout for the continent has the potential to be severe and long-lasting. While some global economic impacts of COVID 19 are already emerging, there is less discussion on the effects on individual economies and even less on the impact this will have on food security within the region. It is widely projected that a pandemic would disproportionately affect Africa given its relatively underdeveloped healthcare sector, limited infrastructure and population movement across borders. Tourism will be impacted heavily in the region as a result of border and travel restrictions and, according to research by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the impact of COVID 19 on tourism revenue for South Africa alone represents a potential loss of at least ZAR 200m in Chinese tourism spending. This figure is likely to increase significantly in the months ahead.