World Food Day Current Affairs - 2020

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%

World Food Day: October 16

The World Food Day is observed globally on 16 October to mark foundation of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. It is observed as day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger and aims to raise public awareness about hunger challenges and encourage people around world to take action in fight against hunger. It also shows commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. Events organised to celebrate this day promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. The theme for this year was: ‘Our actions are our future – A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible’.

Background

World Food Day was instituted in November 1979 by FAO’s Member Countries at its 20th General Conference of to raise awareness of issues behind poverty and hunger. The day was observed for the first time it on 16 October 1981 and idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide was mooted by Hungarian Delegation to FAO.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

FAO is specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its parent organization is UN Economic and Social Council (UNESC). It is neutral forum serving both developed and developing countries where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. It was established on 16 October 1945 and its headquarters are in Rome, Italy. Its motto is “Let there be bread”. It has 194 member states, along with the European Union (member organization). FAO meet the demands posed by major global trends in agricultural development and challenges faced by member nations. It helps countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.