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At the onset of the crisis, food supply chains were strained as many countries imposed restrictions on movement of goods and people across and within borders. As a result, the challenge was not availability of food but easy access to it.
Next, anxious over the uncertainties linked to food supply, some countries restricted food exports, making this situation even more challenging.
These protectionist measures were partly introduced to avoid rising food prices domestically as weakened national currencies made it more advantageous for food producers to export rather than sell at home. The resulting food price inflation could have had significant consequences – making poverty worse and leading to social and political unrest.
Fortunately, excessive protectionism was avoided and many of the initially imposed restrictions have been removed with countries adopting overall a restrained and reasonable approach.
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