WFD - What it Means and Why it is Important?
On 16th October each year the world celebrates the #WorldFoodDay to commemorate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations UN) in 1945.
World Food Day is widely celebrated all around the globe by many organizations concerned with food security, among wich - the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Since 1981, WFD focuses on a different theme each year in order to highlight areas in dire need of supporting practices.
Most of the practices revolve around agriculture and investments in this field because these two are among the things which will surely support education and health in the developing countries. After all, agriculture is the driving force in the economies and can indeed turn the situation with poverty around in the third world. The bulk of those investments will have to come from the private sector, with public investment playing a crucial role, as well.
The theme of WFD 2019 is
Our Actions Are Our Future. Healthy Diets for A #ZeroHunger World. It focuses on tackling global hunger and promoting a healthy lifestyle, which depends mostly on our everyday diet.
Due to globalisation, urbanisation and income growth, our diets and eating habits are drastically changing. We’re consuming way too much refined food, starches, sugar, fats, salt, processed food, meat, and so many other unhealthy meals instead of seasonal, fibre-rich and plant-based food.
People in urban areas spend less time preparing food or meals because these days they rely mainly on ready-made food, supermarkets, fast food, street food, or whatever gives them more freedom in their busy lifestyle but not on healthy food choices.
Due to unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles, obesity in people is increasing both in developed and low-income countries. According to FAO, 670 million adults and 120 million girls and boys of the age group from 5 to 18 years are obese, while at the same time 40 million children under 5 are overweight.
Today more than 820 million people are suffering from hunger and that fact has to change as soon as possible.
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Agencies of the United Nations
Fighting against world hunger requires a lot of resources and planning. We already mentioned several institutions that deal with the issue but since you might not be familiar with their role and their functions, we are going to give you a bit more details about each of them:Food and Agriculture Organisation
The predecessor of the organisation was the International Institute of Agriculture which was established in 1905. The event that gave start to the current institution was the United Nations Conference in Quebec Canada called by the US president Roosevelt in 1943. Two years later, the events of World War II led to the closure of the Institute, therefore its role was overtaken by the newly established Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Rome has been the headquarters of the FAO since 1951. The organisation offers a forum to the members of the United Nations for discussing ideas and politics that could put an end to world hunger. The main focus of the institution is the improvement and modernization of practices such as fisheries, agriculture and forestry for the sake of good nutrition and food security.
Over the years the FAO has partnered with organisations all over the globe for the realisation of various projects, which are related to agricultural research, knowledge exchange and technical assistance among developed and developing countries.
International Fund for Agricultural Development
Although the decision for eradication of hunger and poverty in the developing countries was taken during the 1974 World Food Conference, the International Fund for Agricultural Development officially became a financial institution of the United Nations in 1977.
Nowadays, nutrition is a major issue for the population of the planet as 75 percent of the poor reside in third world rural countries. In order to change this tendency, for the last 40 years IFAD has realised 860 projects by investing 12 billion US dollars to help out over 370 million people.
Aside from providing food supplies, the organisation works on economic politics to empower the poor and improve their living. The initiatives of IFAD include: natural resource management for every citizen has access to the most essential products; securing reliable markets for input and output; opportunities for monetary investments; development of advanced technologies for better quality and quantity of the production.
World Food Programme
The idea for a global food aid initiative was discussed by the United Nations during the Food and Agriculture Organisation Conference in 1960. One year later began the establishing of the World Food Programme as a potential solution. After a successful experimental period of three years, the project became an official institution in 1965 with headquarters in Rome, Italy.
As a branch of the United Nations, the WFP exists to fight world hunger and provide food security. In order to fulfill these objectives, the non-profit organisation accepts donations from world governments, corporations and private individuals. Statistics show that WFP manages to nurture 91,5 million people from 83 countries on an annual basis. Aside from delivering provisions, the programme must enable countries to produce enough food on their own. Through its activities, the institution hopes to end world hunger by the year 2069.
Events Dedicated to World Food Dаy
On 16th October in London will be held a series of events which will mark the World Food Day.
A group of five hospitals in London are planning different events for World Food Day 2019. These include activities for children which are aimed at teaching the little ones how to lead a healthy lifestyle and to choose the right food, essential for their growth. Such information should raise awareness among the parents as well in order to reach every member of the UK society.
Aside from London there are other cities around the world who took part in the World Food Day and contributed to the noble cause in their own way. Here’s a few of them:
Advertisement Campaign in Barcelona, Spain
People say, “You are what you eat” because the food you consume determines the state of your well being. Therefore there’s no doubt dieting is the key to improving your health. That was the main topic of the two week campaign in Barcelona, dedicated to World Food Day. During the given period, the FAO, in association with the advertising agency JCDecaux, took part in promoting healthy dieting throughout the metro of the capital. Many posters were hung all over the underground stations to give the citizens valuable tips for good nutrition and healthy eating.
Globus Supermarket in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Everyday we buy products without knowing what is their nutritional value and are they good for consumption. That is the reason why in the city of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, there was a three day event held at the branches of the supermarket chain Globus. The initiative titled Healthy Family Dinner was organised by the WFP and the FAO. The citizens who went to see the event learned a lot about food and nutrition from experts in the cooking industry.
Professional nutritionists were present at the Globus to give advice about dieting and explain the principles of healthy eating. During the lecture, the experts offered consultations and did calculations of the nutritional and energy value of the products in the supermarket. The main attraction at the event were the masterchef cooking classes that taught the audience how to prepare dishes from everyday ingredients you can find in the fridge.
Public Speech in Rome, Italy
Without addressing the issues and undertaking measures, there will be neither awareness nor a solution regarding the problem. That is why, the Prime Minister of Italy held a speech about world hunger on World Food Day at a ceremony in Rome. The politician pointed out how mutual agreement and combined efforts are the basics for overcoming the issue. Only international collaboration will make it possible to apply politics for agricultural integration to support the people in need all over the planet. This would also be a step towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals on a global level.
Bad practices are also a part of the problem. Statistics show that 1 billion tonnes of food are wasted on an annual basis all over the world. Pope Francis stated himself that finding a solution to end world hunger and malnutrition is impossible, as long as big corporations and companies aim towards making profit at any means necessary.
According to the bishop of Rome, most people overlook values such as moderation and solidarity, not to mention that the economic activity should be more focused on institutions and social initiatives supporting the wellbeing of the poor. As the pope said, the current practices of our society are actually taking away and accumulating the bread of the poor only to waste it.