Food and Agricultural Organisation Current Affairs - 2019

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October 16: World Food Day

The World Food Day (WFD) is held annually on 16th October by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN (United Nations). It is celebrated to commemorate the creation of FAO. The day is marked by more than 150 countries all over the world. FAO organizes various events worldwide to create awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger. The aim is to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

Theme: Our Actions are our Future Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World

Significance of the theme:

There are around 820 million people hungry all over the world according to the FAO. The world is facing a crisis of extremes due to food insecurity and people becoming obese day by day. This is mainly because of the shift from plant-based, fibre-rich diets to refined starch, fats, salts, processes foods that are high in calories. It is also marked by excessive consumption of meat.

The main reason behind the scenario is globalization, urbanization and income growth. Out of 30,000 edible plant species known to humans, only 200 are cultivated.

Another factor that can help reduce hunger is food wastage. According to the State of Agriculture report published by FAO, around 14% of world’s food is wasted after harvesting. It also says that around 60% of micro nutrients are lost because of wastage of fruits, animal based products and vegetables.

The WFD focuses on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)-2: Zero Hunger

Significance of SDG2

  • According to FAO, there are more than 3.1 million children who die of children every year.
  • Ending child undernutrition will help to increase GDP of developing countries by 16.5%
  • Investing 1 USD to remove hunger will bring return between 15 USD and 139 USD.
  • Ending child mortality due to nutrition deficiency will increase productivity in work places by 20%

Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development

The Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development was inaugurated by the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at Rome. The centre has been opened by the Italian government in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

About the Centre

The important aspects of the Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development are:

  • The centre’s origin can be traced to a declaration endorsed by the G7 meeting of the Environment Ministers in 2017. The centre would facilitate coordination among the G7 and African countries on common initiatives in Africa to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.
  • The Centre would contribute towards addressing the needs of Africa by providing a platform for G7 countries to steer their cooperation to contrast environmental degradation and promote sustainable economic growth in the region.
  • The centre will provide a fast-track, demand-driven mechanism for African countries to access grant resources that support policies, initiatives, and best practices on climate change, food security, access to water, clean energy, and accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

The centre would be hosted by UNDP which would utilise its extensive country office network and programmatic hubs, and global expertise and knowledge, to enable the African countries to access the resources available through it.

Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals

Africa referred to as Dark Continent still has up to 330 million of its population living in poverty and up to 60% of unemployed Africans are young people. The centre will help to speed up progress and quickly resource national development priorities in the African countries to address these challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.