In his message to mark World Food Day on October 16, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for strong action and investment to improve local food systems.
The message comes at a time when nearly a billion people in the world don’t have enough to eat.
The United Nations warns that hunger is on the rise in a world driven by conflict, displacement, climate change and the economic impact of COVID-19. Among those most at risk are refugees and those forced to flee within their own countries due to conflict.
The United Nations admits the goal of eliminating world hunger by 2030 is unlikely to be achieved. Guterres said nearly 40 percent of the world’s population, ie 3 billion people, are unable to meet their need for healthy food. This, he said, causes malnutrition, both in the form of malnutrition and obesity, which is widespread in the world.
“The pandemic has left an additional 140 million people unable to get the food they need. At the same time, the way we produce, eat and dispose of food is very detrimental to our planet. It depresses our natural resources, climate and natural environment, and costs trillions of dollars a year,” Guterres . said
World Food Day marks the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (Food and Agriculture Organization/FAO) on October 16, 1945, in Quebec, Canada.
FAO’s Senior Program Officer in Geneva, Patrick Jacqueson, said more than 150 countries hold special events each year to commemorate the day.
He said this year’s theme calls for changes to the agri-food system to provide affordable and nutritious enough food for people everywhere.
“With a population that continues to grow, expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, we need to feed the world’s population and care for the planet. It’s not limited to emergency response, it builds long-term resilience and changes the way we produce and consume food,” Jacqueson said.
FAO proposes developing diverse farming systems, which it says, are better able to adapt to climate change and other food threats. [ps/jm/ft]