COVID-19 impacts are far-reaching, and one important factor to keep in mind is the effect this pandemic has had on food and nutrition security — and the growing need for solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has crashed supply chains around the world, and in turn, has severely impacted livelihoods and access to nutritious foods for communities. For Environmental Defense Fund, we have seen this impact on our Indonesian fisher partners and communities. When international seafood markets dried up, this threw their main source of income and livelihoods into jeopardy.

Yet, a province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra is looking to the future, and is building back better to ensure sustainability and to enhance food and nutrition security for their community.

COVID-19 threatened the livelihoods of the Lampung community and the ability for families to put food on the table. In this province, the fishery for blue swimming crab — commonly called BSC — is critical to the local Lampung economy. In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic disruptions and the global shutdown sharply decreased the demand for blue swimming crab, which in turn stopped the supply chain and crashed BSC prices.

With limited opportunities for alternative employment in the region, this chain of events raised significant food security concerns at the household level.

In the face of COVID-19, Lampung is building back better to enhance their resiliency for the future through diversification and building opportunities for sustainable ocean-based food systems. With the unexpected and drastic impacts of COVID-19, Lampung’s fishers are looking to expanding opportunities to support their livelihoods and to ensure a stable and affordable source of food for their families and communities.

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