Introduction: This report provides an overview of developments concerning food security and nutrition in ECO member states. The overview is based on the data available as of mid-2021. The COVID-19 pandemic adds an entirely new dimension to this overview, but due to the lack of sufficient reliable data on the effects of the pandemic on food security and nutrition, a qualitative assessment has been made using a literature review of reports and published articles. Experience so far indicates that COVID-19 is highly likely to impact every aspect of food security and nutrition across the globe. In particular, the spread of the COVID-19 virus has provoked the transformation of food systems to respond to the emerging challenges, while at the same time inviting adversities in terms of the availability, access and utilization of food. Drawing on a method developed by Temel (2005), Temel and Dorjee (2014), Temel and Karimov (2019) and Temel, Janssen and Karimov (2003), the conceptual framework illustrated in Figures 1 and 2 presents an overview of the potential effects of the virus on food security and nutrition in ECO member states. The premise of this framework is that COVID-19 would affect food security and nutrition outcomes through two channels elaborated in detail in Section 2.3. The report is organized in seven sections. Following the Introduction, Section 2 introduces the overall approach adopted in the overview and assessment of the food security and nutrition situation in ECO member states. Section 3 reviews the progress made towards the SDG 2 targets using the most recent data from FAO. The data used in the overview do not incorporate COVID-19-related data. Therefore, the potential impact on food security and nutrition of the spread of the virus is presented separately in Section 4, which discusses the potential global and regional effects of COVID-19. Section 5 elaborates on the key linkages between agriculture and nutrition and underlines a nutrition challenge that diversified and nutrition-sensitive agriculture has high potential to overcome. Section 6 discusses prospects for food security and nutrition in ECO member states until 2030. Finally, Section 7 concludes the report, pointing to the need to incorporate the key considerations into country-level food security and nutrition strategies.
Keyword: Food security, OECD countries