Macro-Economic Effects of COVID-19 on Food Insecurity: Evidence from Select COMESA Countries
Globally, the COVID 19 outbreak and its subsequent containment measures have greatly disrupted global and regional food supply chains posing a big threat to food security. Our study examines the macroeconomic effect of the COVID 19 pandemic on food security in the COMESA region. The study adopted a pooled mean Autoregressive Distribution Lag model (ARDL) to estimate the impact of macro-economic factors and food insecurity in the face of COVID 19 pandemic in the select COMESA countries. Our results reveal a significant long run relationship between food insecurity and food inflation, food trade and COVID 19 registered cases in the COMESA countries. These findings point to need by governments to implement standard operating procedures, roll out vaccinations to curtail the wide spread of the pandemic while providing safety nets to support the poor vulnerable communities to purchase food. Furthermore, the COMESA members need to purse a coordinated strategy to food security to enhance intra-regional trade, food distribution and production.