World Food Day is celebrated on October 16 every year. It was on this day in 1945 that the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), an agency under the United Nations, was founded. The day is marked to commemorate the founding of the FAO. The day not just provides a platform to raise awareness around world hunger, but it also aims to tackle the same in order to eradicate global hunger. This day’s celebrations will be spearheaded by the FAO, along with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, and the World Food Programme (WFP).
History Of World Food Day
As you already know that the day is marked to commemorate the founding of the FAO. The day was established in November 1979. It was the idea of the then Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food Dr Pal Romany. Since then, the day is celebrated by more than 150 countries, along with international food organisations such as the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Theme Of World Food Day 2021
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Every year, World Food Day has a different theme to raise awareness around a particular issue. The themes have mostly revolved around agriculture and the investment needed in this sector to eradicate hunger. This year’s theme is ‘Safe Food Now For A Healthy’. Let us have a look at the themes of the previous years:
- 2020: Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together
- 2019: Our Actions Are Our Future, Healthy Diets For A Zero Hunger World
- 2018: Our Actions Are Our Future, Ending World Hunger By 2030 Is Possible
- 2017: Change The Future Of Migration. Invest In Food Security And Rural Development
- 2016: Climate Is Changing. Food And Agriculture Must Too
- 2015: Social Protection And Agriculture: Breaking The Cycle Of Rural Poverty
- 2014: Family Farming: Feeding The World, Caring For The Earth
- 2013: Sustainable Food Systems For Food Security And Nutrition
- 2012: Agricultural Cooperatives: Key To Feeding The World
World Food Day: Significance
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The day is significant as it is not just an opportunity for us to feel gratitude to have food on our plates, but also to look around and notice the prevalence of hunger around us. Notably, the situation has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic, which dealt a huge blow to the global economy in general and individual incomes in particular. It also provides an opportunity to discuss the various hunger-related issues and to raise funds to tackle the same.
Also read: What Makes Egg A Superfood?
Hunger Statistics: World
Now that we know the history and significance of this day, let’s take a look at some global hunger statistics:
- Over 700 million people globally faced hunger in 2020.
- Over 3 billion people, who account for 40% of the world population, cannot afford a healthy diet, as per the FAO.
- About 14% of the world’s food is lost. Inadequate harvesting, handling, storage are the chief causes.
- 10% of the world’s population is affected by unsafe food supplies, which are contaminated by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and chemical substances.
- As per the global hunger index (GHI) 2020, India stood at 94th rank among 107 countries in terms of hunger.
The statistics show that the world still has a long road to travel to completely eradicate global hunger.
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