World Food Day is celebrated annually on October 16th by 150 countries across the world to raise awareness and to gather greater support and understanding to the approaches that can help end world hunger. The theme for 2018 is “Our actions are our future. A #Zero hunger world by 2030 is possible”.
“It is almost unthinkable that hunger is still a global crisis, including in South Africa, especially when one is aware of the fact that one third of all the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted,” says Deidré Penfold, Executive Director of the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA). “This is happening while 821 million people in the world still suffer from hunger even though the world produces enough food to feed everyone. About 60% of them are women,” she says.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations cites seven reasons why Zero Hunger would change the world:
- Zero hunger could save the lives of 3,1 million children a year
- Well-nourished mothers have healthier babies with stronger immune systems
- Ending child undernutrition could increase a developing country's GDP by 16,5%
- Proper nutrition early in life could mean 46% more in lifetime earnings
- Eliminating iron deficiency in a population could boost workplace productivity by 20%
- Ending nutrition-related child mortality could increase a workforce by 9,4%
- Zero hunger can help build a safer, more prosperous world for everyone
Did you know?
- 70% of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas. Most of them depend on agriculture for survival.
- 45% of infant deaths worldwide are related to undernutrition.
- By 2050 agriculture will need to produce almost 50% more food, feed and biofuel than it did in 2012 to meet demand.
- Up to 83% of the overall economic impact of drought in developing countries falls on agriculture.