Differences in the early impact of COVID-19 on food security and livelihoods in rural and urban areas in the Asia Pacific Region

Lockdowns due to COVID-19 in early 2020 had health, economic, and social consequences globally. Using survey data collected as part of a rapid assessment among non-governmental organization- (NGO) supported communities in six Asia Pacific countries (n = 13,522), this study examined if the early impacts of COVID-19 on job loss or reduced income, food expenditure, food availability at households and markets, and affordability of essential items, differed between rural and urban areas. Recommendations to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 include promoting urban agriculture with efficient food distribution and cash support and supporting small-holder farmers for procurement and adequate functioning of the supply chain system in the region.