Assessing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of rural people: A review of the evidence

In this paper, FAO focuses specifically on differences in the welfare impacts of COVID-19 on rural livelihoods between countries using nationally representative data that FAO has disaggregated by food system typology. This typology captures key structural differences in the organization of rural economies and the vulnerabilities to rural livelihoods due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown measures. In particular, FAO draws on household survey data collected from 54 countries through the World Bank’s COVID-19 High Frequency Monitoring Dashboard to generate descriptive data on COVID-19 impacts in rural areas across three dimensions: income, coping strategies and food security. These descriptive data are disaggregated into four food system categories, contextualized, and validated through a systematic review of rigorous, survey-based studies of COVID-19 impacts in rural areas. Through this analysis, the report provides insights on how COVID-19 is influencing rural livelihoods, how its impacts vary between countries and food system typologies, and, ultimately, how policymakers and the international community need to respond in order to foster an inclusive and sustainable recovery.