Vulnerability to food insecurity is related to a complex system of environmental, social and economic factors, which include, among others, land degradation, climate change, natural hazards, and insufficient access to infrastructure and services. These factors add to the already high exposure of mountain people to multiple risks and reduce their ability to cope with food shortages and other shocks. The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions adopted by countries to respond to it have amplified the existing vulnerabilities of mountain communities. Mountain livelihoods – which rely mostly on agriculture, tourism and remittances – have been particularly affected by the global lockdowns. The prolonged recession that is unfolding will require special attention to ensure that the most vulnerable among mountain people, particularly women and youth, are not pushed into poverty and further deprivation.