(HN, October 13, 2010) -- October 16th has been declared World Food Day which is observed in remembrance of the launching of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1945.
In November 1979, the FAO’s member countries launched World Food Day (WFD) at its 20th General Conference. The Hungarian Delegation, headed by the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dr. Pal Romany had suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD across the world and ever since, this day has been observed every year in more than 150 countries, highlighting awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.
The Objectives of World Food Day are to:
- Encourage the increase of agricultural food production and to stimulate national, bilateral, transnational and non-governmental initiatives to this end.
- Catapult economic and technical coordination among developing nations.
- Enhance and nurture the participation of rural people, particularly women and the under privileged, in decisions and events impacting their living conditions.
- Expand public awareness of the issue of hunger in the world and who and how many people it affects worldwide.
- Advocate the furtherance of agriculture technologies to the developing world.
- Revitalize international and national collaboration in the combat against hunger, malnutrition and poverty; and support positive attention to accomplishments in food and agricultural development.
The Actual Worldwide Hunger Scenario Today:
According to the 2010 Global Hunger Index (GHI), out this past Monday on October 11th, malnutrition among children under two years of age is still one of the leading challenges to reducing global hunger and can cause lifelong harm to health, productivity and earning potential.
- Malnutrition is the result of an inadequate intake of food, either in terms of quality or quantity and of the poor utilization of nutrients due to infections or other illnesses, or a combination of these two factors.
- The state of malnutrition causes a lack of energy, protein and/or essential vitamins and minerals in human bodies.
GHI gives developing countries scores based on three indicators:
- the proportion of people who are undernourished;
- the proportion of children under five who are underweight; and,
- the child mortality rate of a country.
The worst possible score is 100, but in practice, anything over 25 is considered “alarming”.
Since 1990 the overall level of the index has fallen by almost a quarter - two-thirds of the 99 countries counted in 1990 have reduced their populations' hunger levels. Kuwait, Malaysia, Turkey and Mexico have been the most successful, cutting their scores by over 60%. Those where hunger has increased include North Korea, Comoros and Congo. Congo's GHI score fell by over 60%, the worst of any country. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia continue to suffer from the highest levels of hunger.
A New Committee on World Food Security Begins Now:
A five-day high-level intergovernmental meeting of the newly re-formed Committee on World Food Security (CFS) began on Monday in Rome. The meeting takes place against a background of recent increases in international food prices which pose additional challenges to global food security including production, distribution and availability of safe, quality food stocks.
“This week marks the launch of a strategically coordinated global effort to draw on the combined strengths of all stakeholders engaged in the fight against global hunger,” said World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. “With recent volatility in commodity prices and increased global demand for food this comes not a moment too soon. The reformed CFS has an opportunity and a responsibility to rally nations of the world to respond effectively, efficiently and coherently to provide vital humanitarian assistance when disasters strike and build long-term food security.”
The “Starved for Attention” Campaign:
In June of this year Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and VII Photography co-produced and presented “Starved for Attention,” a multimedia campaign exposing the neglected and largely invisible crisis of childhood malnutrition. “Starved for Attention” aims to rewrite the story of malnutrition through a series of multimedia documentaries that seamlessly blend photography and video from some of the most accomplished and award-winning photojournalists working today. “Starved for Attention” captures frontline stories of malnutrition from Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, India, Mexico, and the United States.
You can show your support for the millions of malnourished children around the world and demand that food aid meets the nutritional needs of young children by signing the “Starved for Attention” petition, here.
- Written by HUMNEWS Staff