Since 1981 World Food Day has been a story of concern and action at all levels in communities around the world. For 62 years the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN has been at work wherever its skills have been needed, and for 27 years the citizens of the world have been joining forces with FAO through the annual worldwide observance on October 16th to focus on FAO’s efforts and to add their own impact in a thousand ways.
On World Food Day, there are more than 850 million chronically hungry people worldwide, nearly 90 percent of whom are women and children. And the sad reality is that it is about to get worse.
World population is growing, and it is growing fastest in the least developing countries. Between now and 2050, the world's population is expected to grow from its current 6.7 billion to 9.1 billion people. About one billion of those will be born in Africa, a continent under the scourge of more frequent and more severe droughts and floods, and the threat of even more severe weather from climate change.
Meanwhile, the prices of wheat, maize, sorghum and other food commodities is soaring - making food less affordable for the world's most vulnerable and raising WFP's food costs by over 50 percent in the last 5 years alone.
These demographic trends, food price increases, changing climate and a 30 percent decline in food aid in the past decade combined could deliver a perfect storm of rising hunger. But on the other hand, over the past 150 years, farmers in many nations have broken the cycle of abject hunger and poverty. Hunger must be tackled at its root, replicating these successes where possible...
The following selection of events and activities is a sample of what is happening this week.
World Food Day at FAO Headquarters – Rome, Italy October 16 in FAO Plenary Hall Theme: The Right to Food – Make It Happen! The presidents of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Republic of Tanzania will keynote the observance.
World Food Day at the United Nations – New York October 18 at the UN Eleanor Roosevelt Monologue on “The First Human Right” Launch of the Year of the Potato
World Food Prize Award Ceremony and Symposium October 16-19 – Des Moines, Iowa Biofuels and Biofood – Global Challenges will be the topic of lectures and panels. Dr. Philip E. Nelson, Purdue University Researcher, will be presented the 2007 Prize. The Iowa Hunger Summit will precede the Symposium.
Dr Kyetere (FARA Chair) is to participate at the next CTA Brussels Briefing on EC Communication on Advancing African Agriculture- Brussels 17th October 2007
The theme of the World Bank's World Development Report (WDR) 2008 is Agriculture for Development. The World Development Report 2008 can already be downloaded in a near-final version, but the final report will be embargoed until 16:00 GMT (12:00 US Eastern Time), Friday, October 19.