World Food Day – 16 October 2020

Each year, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) celebrates World Food Day on 16 October to commemorate its founding in 1945. As FAO marks its 75th Anniversary, it continues to work with partners in every region to help those who are most vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition, to make food systems more resilient, and to make livelihoods more sustainable.

We are at a turning point in international efforts to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The year 2020 opens the Decade of Action to Deliver the Global Goals, to end poverty and hunger, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

SDG2 (to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture) highlights the need to achieve food security by improving access to nutritious food through sustainable food systems.

More than 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe and nutritious food. The COVID-19 pandemic has added to this challenge, threatening to reverse important gains in food security, nutrition, and livelihoods.

The widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have underscored the importance for all of us to show global solidarity and take action.

Ensuring access to safe and nutritious food is an essential part of the response to COVID-19. Measures adopted to slow the transmission of COVID-19 have helped to save lives. Still, some pandemic-related restrictions have made access to food and income even more difficult for vulnerable families, with food prices rising and wages falling in most countries which were already experiencing food crises.

Food facts:

  • More than 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food.
  • About 135 million people across 55 countries experience acute hunger requiring urgent food, nutrition, and livelihoods assistance
  • The global population is expected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050
  • Approximately 14% of the food produced for consumption globally each year is lost before reaching the wholesale market
  • Intensified food production, combined with climate change, is causing a rapid loss of biodiversity. Currently, only nine plant species account for 66% of total food crop production
  • Poor diets and sedentary lifestyles have led to soaring obesity rates, not only in developed countries, but also low-income countries, where hunger and obesity often coexist

We all have a role to play to realise the vision of a world without hunger and malnutrition. We must not let sustainable habits fall by the wayside in times of crisis. We can make healthy food choices. We can do our part to reduce waste. We can advocate for governments, enterprises, and organisations to share knowledge and support sustainable, resilient food systems and livelihoods.

Together, we can grow, nourish, and sustain our world.

World Food Day Poster 2020World Food Day Poster 2020 (49 KB)

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