World Food Day 2021: Know its history, significance and theme

  • World Food Day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of the founding of the FAO of the United Nations, every year.
The theme this year is “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow”.(Pexels)
The theme this year is “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow”.(Pexels)
Published on Oct 16, 2021 05:48 AM IST
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Written by Susmita Pakrasi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

World Food Day is celebrated all over the world on October 16. It is an initiative by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. This global event marks a day calling for worldwide awareness and collective action to combat the issue of hunger and ensure healthy diets for all.

This year, the World Food Day commemorations will be jointly led by the FAO, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the World Food Programme (WFP). Events will be organised in 150 countries across the globe with multiple partners and governments, according to the United Nations.

The theme this year is “Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, better environment and a better life”.

History of World Food Day

World Food Day was established in November 1979, as suggested by former Hungarian minister of agriculture and food Dr Pal Romany. It gradually became a way to raise awareness about hunger, malnutrition, sustainability and food production.

Significance of World Food Day

World Food Day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of the founding of the FAO of the United Nations, every year. This day aims at tackling global hunger and striving to eradicate hunger across the world.

Focus area of World Food Day 2021

The FAO said that today’s agri-food systems are exposing profound inequalities and injustices. At least two billion people don't have regular access to sufficient amounts of safe, nutritious food, while three billion cannot afford healthy diets and obesity continues to increase worldwide.

It further said that vast quantities of food are lost even when millions of people go hungry every day. The food is either spoiled during production or transport or thrown into the waste bins of households, retailers or restaurants. Further area of concern is generation of greenhouse gas like methane by food waste which is filling up the world's landfills.

FAO said that to fix this, collective action is needed so that everyone has enough safe and nutritious food to eat, and the entire food supply chain is more sustainable, resilient and inclusive.

For this shift to happen, everyone must play their part, said the FAO, listing action plans for countries, farmers, private sectors and the civil society.

This World Food Day is the second to be marked during Covid-19, which has had devastating repercussions for food security worldwide. The FAO said that the Covid-19 pandemic has induced an economic recession that could add up to 100 million or more to the 690 million people already suffering from hunger.

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Monday, January 17, 2022