The outcomes of case studies produced by 15 scientists from four countries (Armenia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, and Uzbekistan) were presented and discussed on November 24, 2020, during a webinar on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security and nutrition in the Eurasian region. The event was organized by the World Bank and the Eurasian Center for Food Security (ECFS).The outcomes of case studies produced by 15 scientists from four countries (Armenia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, and Uzbekistan) were presented and discussed on November 24, 2020, during a webinar on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security and nutrition in the Eurasian region. The event was organized by the World Bank and the Eurasian Center for Food Security (ECFS).
Sergei Shoba, ECFS Director and Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Science noted that case studies are one of the flagship projects of ECFS activities and make a signify can’t contribution to the body of regional knowledge, intensifying research cooperation and the development of informed measures for relevant research on food security and nutrition in the Eurasian region.
The ECFS Director emphasized the relevance and timeliness of the research. The fall in world oil prices; the downturn in economic activity; currency devaluation in many countries; the rupture of international, regional, and national value chains; and an unprecedented burden on the health care system from the pandemic has led to a deterioration in the economic situation. According to World Bank forecasts, the global economy will shrink by more than 5 percent this year. Many Eurasian countries will likely experience a stronger economic decline due to their high vulnerability to these shocks and the impact of social and political shocks.Sergei Shoba also pointed out the importance of examining various aspects of the impact of the pandemic on national agri-food systems.
In this regard, the cases this year are aimed at developingpolicy measures and recommendations on the following issues:
Improving the nutrition of residents of the cities of Uzbekistan and Armenia,
Ensuring uninterrupted school meals in Armenia,
Transforming sales systems for Russian farms,
Strengthening food chains in the vegetable and fruit sector in Armenia,
Optimizing the regulation of wheat exports in Russia,
and Ensuring the sustainability of the livestock sector in the Kyrgyz Republic.
A speech by the Deputy Director of ECFS Roman Romashkin was devoted to the methodological and technical aspects of preparing cases. He noted that a case study is not only a publication or piece of research—it is also a research method that:
Is used for intensive analysis of the urgent problem in the field of food security,
Allows researchers to clearly formulate a problematic issue,
and Seeks to develop balanced policy measures based on the interests of the main stakeholders.
According to Roman Romashkin, the joint work of ECFS and the World Bank on organizing and conducting case studies has created a community of researchers and educators from the countries of the Eurasian region who, with interest and enthusiasm, apply innovative approaches in practice. “We plan to continue to promote the use of cases in the educational process, as well as replenish the bank of region,” said an ECFS representative.region,” said an ECFS representative.
The event attracted over 100 participants from various Eurasian countries. The short and informative presentations of the speakers aroused keen interest among the audience. Given the time constraints for answering questions, discussions continued in chat. Following the discussion, Sergei Shoba thankedspeakers and experts of the World Bank for the work done and the webinar participants for a meaningful discussion. In addition, the ECFS Director highlighted the importance and need for early publication of research findings in the context of adapting food systems to the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic. The conference recording is available here, speakers’ presentations are available here.