Alvaro Espitia, Nadia Rocha, Michele Ruta, 24 May 2020

Although initial conditions in global food markets in the face of COVID-19 pandemic are good, disruptions across countries most affected could reduce global supplies of key staples. This column shows that escalating export restrictions would multiply the initial shock by a factor of three, with world food prices rising by up to 18% on average. Import food dependent countries, which are in large majority developing and least developed countries, would be most affected. Uncooperative trade policies could risk turning a health crisis into a food crisis.

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