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Feeding in a crisis: Social protection and governance during the pandemic

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On Tuesday, 18 August, the Centre for Excellence in Food Security held a webinar to discuss the impacts of the Covid-19 global health crisis with a specific focus on issues of food insecurity, school feeding and food governance. The participants were Professor Lisa Korsten from the University of Pretoria, Petrina Pakoe, the director of the Peninsula School Feeding Scheme in the Western Cape and Dr Wanga Zembe-Mkabile, who is the specialist scientist at the South African Medical Research Centre.

The world has been navigating a hunger crisis that has been brewing since before Covid-19 and was further exacerbated by the pandemic’s onset as evidenced in Oxfam’s hunger crisis report, published on 9 July 2020.

The discussion established that of the 3 million people who lost their jobs in South Africa, two thirds of those were women, specifically black women, meaning that they have undeniably and disproportionately borne the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis.

Moderator Camilla Adelle said Stats SA had established that households which were headed by black women were more vulnerable to experiencing hunger and food shortages even before Covid-19.

Adelle also dispelled the myth that those who receive social grants were somewhat immune to the income crisis by explaining that the National Income Dynamics Study had revealed that 47% of respondent’s households had run out of food by April 2020. She said that this was due to a number of reasons such as the loss of jobs that supplement grants, and an increase in food prices.

This article was originally published by the Daily Maverick. Read the full article here

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