16/10: World Food Day

On October 16 of each year FAO celebrates World Food Day to commemorate the foundation of the Organisation in 1945. In over 150 countries around the world events are organised making it one of the most celebrated days on the United Nations calendar. These events, worldwide, are aimed at raising awareness and mobilisation for those who suffer from hunger and to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. It is also a day to celebrate the progress already made.

Ten facts to know about hunger:

(1) The world produces enough food to feed everyone, yet about 800 million people suffer from hunger. This means one in nine people. 60% of these are women.

(2) About 80% of the world’s extremely poor live in rural areas. Most depend on agriculture.

(3) Hunger kills more people every year than malaria, tuberculosis and aids together.

(4) About 45% of child deaths are related to malnutrition.

(5) The cost to the global economy caused by malnutrition is equivalent to $ 3500 billion a year.

(6) 9 billion people – more than a quarter of the world’s population – are overweight.

(7) One third of the food produced in the world is lost or wasted.

(8) The world will have to produce 60% more food by 2050 to feed the growing population.

(9) No other sector is more sensitive than agriculture to climate change.

(10) FAO works mainly in rural areas in 130 countries. We work with governments, civil society, the private sector and other partners to reach #ZeroHunger.

“The celebration of this World Food Day – says the pope, beginning his speech – sees us gathered here to remember that October 16, 1945 when the governments, determined to eliminate hunger through the development of the agricultural sector, established the FAO. This was a period of serious food insecurity and large population movements, with millions of people searching for places where they could survive the miseries and adversities caused by the war. Therefore, reflecting on how food security can affect human mobility means starting again from the commitment for which FAO was born, to renew it. Today’s reality demands greater responsibility at all levels not only to guarantee the necessary production or the equitable distribution of the fruits of the earth – this should be taken for granted – and above all to protect the right of every human being to nourish himself according to his needs, to make his own decisions and realizate their aspirations, without having to separate from their loved ones “.

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