Human Lives Human Rights: World Food Day (WFD) was established by the member countries of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) in November 1979, at the organization’s 20th General Conference.
Dr. Pal Romany, the Hungarian Delegation led by the then Minister of Hungary for Agriculture and Food, played a significant role at the 20th General Conference of the FAO and proposed the idea of launching the WFD worldwide. Since then, the WFD is been observed in more than 150 countries every year; raising consciousness and knowledge of the problems and reasons behind hunger and poverty.
This day is a push for mankind to think about the hungry or take a step towards food production.
Some important goals of this day:
- increase public awareness,
- Pay attention to and deal with the problem of hunger in the world.
- Efforts to increase the production of agricultural products to end hunger,
- Encouraging the transfer of technology to developing countries and
- Encouraging villagers (especially women) to participate in decisions to improve living conditions.
This year slogan for the World Food Day Leave no one behind. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life.
This year’s event takes place at a time when global food security is facing threats from multiple directions, with soaring food, energy and fertilizer prices adding to traditional drivers such as the climate crisis and long-standing conflicts. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have knock-on effect, highlighting how interconnected our economies and lives are.
“In the face of a looming global food crisis, we need to harness the power of solidarity and collective momentum to build a better future where everyone has regular access to enough nutritious food,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres noted that World Food Day 2022 was taking place “at a challenging moment for global food security” and urged stakeholders to act together in order to move “from despair to hope and action.”
The latest State of Food Security and Nutrition report shows the world is moving backwards in efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition
On top of the 970 000 people at risk of famine in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, the number of people facing hunger worldwide is on the rise (as much as 828 million in 2021, according to FAO’s latest The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report) and 3.1 billion people still cannot afford a healthy diet.
After remaining relatively unchanged since 2015, the proportion of people affected by hunger jumped in 2020 and continued to rise in 2021, to 9.8% of the world population. This compares with 8% in 2019 and 9.3% in 2020.
World hunger levels have gone up by 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United Nations has released a report saying that the number of people who do not have enough food for their daily consumption reached its highest level in the world last year. The experts of this organization believe that the war in Ukraine has had a negative impact on the food production around the world.
An estimated 45 million children under the age of five were suffering from wasting, the deadliest form of malnutrition, which increases children’s risk of death by up to 12 times. Furthermore, 149 million children under the age of five had stunted growth and development due to a chronic lack of essential nutrients in their diets, while 39 million were overweight.
Progress is being made on exclusive breastfeeding, with nearly 44% of infants under 6 months of age being exclusively breastfed worldwide in 2020. This is still short of the 50% target by 2030. Of great concern, 2 in 3 children are not fed the minimum diverse diet they need to grow and develop to their full potential.
Looking forward, projections are that nearly 670 million people (8% of the world population) will still be facing hunger in 2030 – even if a global economic recovery is taken into consideration.