FAO turns 75 and celebrates World Food Day

On 16th October 2020, World Food Day, marked the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Born in the wake of World War II, today FAO's mission to end hunger and nourish the world is just as relevant in the face of climate change, conflict and the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the realization of the right to food, for everyone.

The present moment is again fraught with danger, complicated, and demands urgent action. As hunger grows once more, as the COVID-19 pandemic exposes the fragility of our food systems, history is calling upon us once more to rise to the challenge" said Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General, during the World Food Day/FAO75 celebrations.

According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI2020) released in July, nearly 700 million people were hungry in 2019 and as the pandemic is intensifying the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of global food systems, up to another 132 million additional people may go hungry by the end of 2020. High costs, low affordability and widening inequalities mean a healthy diet is out of reach for a staggering 3 billion people.

This year's World Food Day theme “Grow, nourish, and sustain. Together.” aimed at stimulating and accelerating action towards ending hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, while making food and agriculture an essential part of the COVID-19 response. "Now is the time to rethink our approaches and redouble our efforts" said FAO Director General.

Among other high level speakers, such as Italy's President, Lesotho's King and Spain's Queen, the UN Secretary General, and the heads of IFAD and WFP, Pope Francis urged us all to take action to end hunger and be responsible for our actions. “Over these 75 years, FAO has learned that it is not sufficient to produce food, but that it is also important to ensure that food systems are sustainable and provide healthy, affordable diets for all”.

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