New Delhi: Every year, October 16 is marked as World Food Day to mark the founding of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, which was established on the same day in 1945.
The motto of the day is to promote the message that food is the basic and fundamental human right and everyone should have access to it because still around the world, 3.1 billion people (almost 40 per cent of the world’s population) cannot afford a healthy diet, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations (FAO). In 2021, some 193 million people experienced high acute food insecurity, requiring humanitarian assistance for their survival, while over half a million faced catastrophe conditions, meaning starvation and death, states FAO.
What’s The Theme Of The World Food Day 2022?
This year, the theme for World Food Day 2022 is ‘Leave No One Behind’ which focuses on building a sustainable world for everyone, everywhere with regular access to enough nutritious food.
Highlighting the reason for having this as the theme, FAO states that although the world has made progress towards building a better world, too many people have been left behind. It further adds that 2022 finds us with an ongoing pandemic, conflict, a climate that won’t stop warming, rising prices and international tensions. It adds that all this is affecting global food security severally. FAO also said that in fact, millions of people around the world cannot afford a healthy diet, putting them at high risk of food insecurity and malnutrition.
The Importance Of The World Food Day
Today enough food is being produced to feed everyone on the planet as per FAO, but the problem is access and availability of nutritious food, which is increasingly impeded by multiple challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict, climate change, inequality, rising prices and international tensions.
FAO states that people around the world are suffering the domino effects of challenges that know no borders. According to the statistics, worldwide, more than 80 percent of the extremely poor live in rural areas and many rely on agriculture and natural resources for their living. FAO adds that usually they are the hardest hit by natural and man-made disasters and often marginalized due to their gender, ethnic origin, or status.
In Numbers: The Reality Of Food Insecurity
As per the recent data and stats shared by FAO:
– Indigenous Peoples are guardians of 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity on 22 percent of the Earth’s surface, yet globally, they suffer higher rates of poverty, malnutrition and internal displacement compared to non-indigenous groups
– Globally, women are 15 percent more likely than men to be moderately or severely food insecure
– Every day, more than 30 000 people are forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution.
Major Drivers That Have Put The World Off Track To End World Hunger
According to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 report, in the last ten years, the frequency and intensity of conflict, climate variability and extremes, and economic slowdowns and downturns have increased significantly around the world. The report states that the increased occurrence of these major drivers and COVID-19 pandemic have led to a rise in hunger and has undermined progress in reducing all forms of malnutrition, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
The report also said that economic downturns in 2020, including those resulting from COVID-19 containment measures, contributed to one of the largest increases in world hunger in decades, affecting almost all low- and middle-income countries.
The Clarion Call
This year to overcome the challenges and ensure everyone everywhere has access to food, the theme of World Food Day is making a clarion call of better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.